Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given says the recent AUMA convention in Edmonton has left him feeling confident about the future of big-ticket items like the Municipal Sustainability Initiative.
MSI funding helps with the rehabilitation and building of roadways and bridges for municipalities across Alberta but runs out for all cities and towns outside of Edmonton and Calgary in 2022.
Given says after getting to know MLA’s from across the province, he feels more confidence in a deal getting done long term.
“The government has been consistent that would commit to the MSI that has been approved, and they would commit to establishing a long term funding model. Obviously, we are all waiting on the provincial budget to see what that looks like.”
Given believes the tone set by the UCP government and found within the recently released McKinnon report really shows that some overhaul may be on the way, but suggests the best way to move forward is with an open mind.
“We can expect to see some changes to systems that haven’t changed in a long time, we can expect to see different ways of funding infrastructure come to the forefront. We are all going to need to be open to that if we want to continue to move our community forward.”
Grande Prairie has also retained its spot with representation on the AUMA Board of Directors. Given, along with St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron, and Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam have also been named directors for cities with populations up to 500,000.