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Support for municipalities grows in Budget 2014

Growing investment in municipal infrastructure, more funding for transit services, and expanded support for regional partnerships are key features of the province’s support for communities in Budget 2014.

“As a government, we fully recognize the central role that Alberta’s communities play in fueling our economy and making our province a great place for people to live. This budget meets our commitments to invest in communities and takes those commitments even further, with more support for municipal infrastructure and transit.”

Ken Hughes, Minister of Municipal Affairs

Key highlights in Budget 2014 for communities:

  • $5.1 billion invested in municipal infrastructure over the next three years
    • $162 million more for transit over the next three years
    • $150 million more for the Municipal Sustainability Initiative over the next three years
    • $20 million more invested into community partnerships
  • More than $2 billion in direct funding for municipalities across all ministries

Details:

Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI)

  • The province will invest $3.7 billion in municipal infrastructure through MSI over the next three years.
  • In 2014-15, there will be $1.24 billion available under the MSI umbrella. This includes the Basic Municipal Transportation Grant (BMTG), which has moved from Transportation to Municipal Affairs.
  • In 2014-15, the breakdown of funding under the MSI program will be:
    • MSI Capital – $871 million
    • MSI Operating – $30 million
    • BMTG – $343 million
  • Since the MSI program was created in 2007, it has provided about $4.8 billion to municipalities, including support for more than 4,000 capital projects identified by local councils as their priorities.

GreenTRIP

  • Additional funding of $162 million has been identified in 2016-17 for GreenTRIP. This brings GreenTrip funding to $667 million over the next three years.
  • A second call for submissions will be announced in the coming year.
  • This increase keeps us on track to achieve government’s commitment of $2 billion in GreenTRIP funding by 2019-20.
  • So far, government has approved funding for transit projects in 15 municipalities under GreenTRIP, totaling more than $1 billion.

Alberta Community Partnership

  • A total of $20 million will move into the new Alberta Community Partnership (previously called the Regional Collaboration Program), making it a $49 million program in 2014-15.
  • The Alberta Community Partnership will encourage municipalities to work together on developing and implementing strategic long-term plans that improve service delivery.
  • Expanded parameters for the program will be announced as soon as possible.

Water for Life Strategy & Municipal Water/Wastewater Program

  • Government will provide $75 million for these two grants in 2014-15 and $225 million over the next three years.
  • Government is also spending $19.9 million in capital funding in 2014-15 on water management infrastructure for minor rehabilitation projects throughout the province.

Family and Community Support Services

  • Funding for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) will be maintained in 2014-15 at $76.1 million.
  • FCSS is a unique 80/20 funding partnership among the province, municipalities and Métis Settlements, supporting community design and delivery of preventative social services.
  • Services include family/school liaison programs, information and referral services, life-skills programs, youth development activities and short-term counselling.
  • There are 207 FCSS programs operating in 322 municipalities and Metis Settlements throughout Alberta. Nearly all (99%) of Albertans live in communities directly served by FCSS programs.

Police Grants

  • Municipalities will receive an additional $2.3 million in 2014-15 for a total of $83.4 million through the Municipal Policing Assistance Grants and the Police Officer Grant. Additional funding indirectly provided for policing has increased by $14.5 million to $268.6 million through the Provincial Police Service Agreement with the RCMP, First Nations policing and ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams), on top of‎ an estimated $136 million in provincial traffic fine revenue that will be returned to municipalities.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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