There have been a few posts in this space about the recently released provincial budget. It's been really frustrating trying to figure out was the details are beind each media release from the province and how they will affect Grande Prairie in particular. That's to be expected though so we deal with it.
Ken Anderson, the city's Financial Services Director (Treasuer), sent a email note to council early today in an attempt to clarify what we know so far. Here's his note:
"The Province did make further announcements this week regarding funding for municipalities. It is a bit confusing and we will learn further details within the next couple of weeks. This is what we understand:
The overall $400 million to municipalities is broken down into the following categories:
$250 for capital projects
·Core capital (roads, transit, emergency vehicles, etc.) - $125 million. At least 20% planned and implemented with neighbouring municipalities.
·Community capital (libraries, recreation facilities, etc.) - $75 million. At least 50% planned and implemented with neighbouring municipalities.
·Coordination incentives (jointly planned with other municipalities) - $50 million.
$100 million for affordable housing
$50 million for conditional grants
(mainly land use projects that will facilitate coordination between municipalities)
$2.8 million for affordable housing over three years.
Ability to apply to allocation of additional $68 million for substantial needs.
$4.5 million allocation for 2007.
This is the city share of the $400 million identified above. This includes the allocation for affordable housing identified immediately above.
We have new funding for 2007 in the amount of $4.5 million. This has been compartmentalized into various project types some of which require planning and implementation with neighbouring municipalities.
The allocation announced at the Coca-Cola Centre on Monday is a separate program funded by Gaming over two years. The city is eligible to apply to an annual amount of $35 million for each of two years that has been allocated to mid-sized cities."
Ken's note really helped cut through the hype and get to what it all means for our city. Ken also mentions the other areas that GP could see more new money coming to GP - The $35M from gaming that (MCFP) I posted on before and the $68M for Affordable Housing. But for both of those we have to apply and compete against other municipalities accross the province.
The Daily Hearld Tribune covered it this way:
"New housing funds doled
GP gets $7.3M from province to address local projects
A $7.3-million share of new funding from the province should help Grande Prairie address some of its needs.
"The provincial budget has done a very good job of acknowledging the plight of local governments who do not have sufficient revenues to fund the infrastructure and community capacity-building needs of their citizens," said Mayor Wayne Ayling.
In a press conference Tuesday, Premier Ed Stelmach and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ray Danyluk announced the details of new cash for municipalities that was announced in last week's budget.
Of $400 million destined for communities, Grande Prairie will see just under $4.5 million come its way for various capital building projects ranging from affordable housing to sewers to libraries.
Along with the capital cash, the government will also disburse $285 million for housing and homeless projects. Grande Prairie, cited as a high-growth centre with a tighter housing crunch than many areas, will pick up $2.8 million this year from the new fund."
... full story
If you want to read the full details from the province for yourself they are here for the $2.8M housing funds and here for the $4.5M for municipalities. Both of these also show you what other Cities, Towns, M.D.s and Counties got.