By J.W. Schnarr
Alberta’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative is an important source of funding for local municipalities, and a resolution by the mayors and reeves of Alberta is requesting no reductions be made in those funds for the 2015-16 funding year.
Additionally, mayors and reeves are requesting the Notley government reveal their intentions for transfers in 2016-2017, in order to assist municipalities in their budgeting process.
During their regular meeting on June 23, council tabled a resolution from mayors and reeves for further consideration.
The resolution lists 12 reasons for the resolution, including the end of PC rule in Alberta and a transfer to NDP rule after 44 years; the need for municipalities to develop a sustainable model for government funding for budget reasons; MSO funding affects the bottom line for municipal budgets, which determines mill rates for local residents; The Notley government has delayed the release of the budget until after the federal election this fall, and the delays have caused uncertainty in municipalities over funding; municipal government finances and operations could be adversely affected by negative changes in the level of government transfers.
The mayors and reeves committees in Alberta are intended to provide municipal governments across the province a strong, unified voice when dealing with other levels of government.