City receiving an extra $600K from province

The City of Red Deer will receive an extra $600,000 in Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding from the province this year.

The City of Red Deer will receive an extra $600,000 in Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding from the province this year.

Red Deer will get $18.3 million, up from $17.7 million last year.

Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding is based on a formula that uses population, education property tax assessment requisition and kilometres of road in a municipality.

The cash is meant to go towards projects like roads, bridges, public transit, water and sewer systems and recreational facilities and is the province’s largest capital grant program for municipalities.

“We rely on these funds. Overall, we’re happy that there was a nominal increase this year,” said Red Deer Deputy Mayor Tara Veer on Thursday after the province announced how much money each municipality will get.

“I think MSI is one of the more successful examples of programs where they allocate dollars to municipalities on a very fair formula and we’re pleased that they followed through on their funding commitments to it.”

MSI funding increased $10 million this year to $896 million. Outside of Edmonton and Calgary, communities will share $472 million, up $7 million from the previous year.

“That’s a solid, three-year commitment that municipalities can be assured will be there to help them grow their communities,” Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths said during his announcement.

Veer said it’s good to know what the province has planned.

“I think that will enable the city to do additional long-term planning around MSI. We usually operate on a year to year basis,” Veer said.

The city will put $4.2 million of its MSI funding towards phase one and two of the Gaetz Avenue revitalization, $5 million to renovate Red Deer Curling Centre, and around $8 million towards paving and pavement rehabilitation.

This year Lacombe County received $3.920 million, an increase of $27,000 compared to a $43,000 decrease last year when it received $3.893 million.

“The county is pleased at the province’s ongoing commitment to infrastructure maintenance and we’re also pleased at the government recognition of essential core services provided by Alberta municipalities,” said Lacombe County Reeve Ken Wigmore.

MSI allocations for other communities include:

• Lacombe – $2.245 million ($2.211 million in 2011)

• Red Deer County – $6.206 million ($6.085 million)

• Olds – $1.622 million ($1.595 million)

• Rocky Mountain House – $1.459 million ($1.444 million)

• Ponoka – $1.301 million ($1.292 million)

• Sylvan Lake – $2.484 million ($2.418 million)

• Stettler – $1.172 million ($1.155 million)

• Innisfail – $1.608 million ($1.588 million)

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