Alberta Urban Municipalities Association President Helen Rice says $400 million in surplus funding from the province has relieved some anxiety municipalities may have been feeling about the upcoming 2015 provincial budget.
Rice says what’s even more reassuring is the strength of the relationship that the AUMA has built with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the whole provincial government.
“The municipalities are solution-oriented. We’re not just saying ‘gimme gimme gimme’; we’re prepared to take on more responsibility if there’s funding for it. This reassures me that they are hearing our message.”
Rice adds they have stressed their concerns over anticipated cuts to municipal funding in the upcoming budget to Minister McQueen at length.
“Municipalities already suffer from a deficit of infrastructure funding. She said, ‘you made your point very well,’ so they freed up $400 million from the province’s budget surplus, with the warning that the budget will be tight.”
Of those funds, Rice says she believes Grande Prairie’s share will be about $4.8 million.
The money is a result of the surplus from last year’s budget.