By Justin Seward
Cypress County Reeve Dan Hamilton is feeling a sense of worry after seeing what the province decided to do with MSI (Municipal Sustainable Initiative) funding in their 2021 budget on Feb. 25.
Cypress County will receive $4,368,917 as their portion for MSI Funding for 2021 and 2022, but like every other municipality will see a reduction every year after.
Cypress County understands the need for the Government of Alberta to be fiscally responsible especially considering the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and unstable energy prices,” said Hamilton.
“However ,the 25 per cent cut in funding over the next three years to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) is worrisome. Municipalities rely on MSI funding to maintain core infrastructure which is relied on by residents and industry. With unpaid taxes from the oil and gas industry coupled with a reduction in MSI, rural municipalities will suffer. As Cypress County residents and Albertans we must work together to ensure a strong, viable province we are proud to call home.”
The Minister of Transportation ‘s press secretary broke down the reasoning for the cuts in the future.
“Over the next three years (2021 to 2023), municipalities will receive about 25 per cent less in Municipal Sustainable Initiative (MSI) capital funding as we live within our means. MSI capital funding will average $722 million over the next three years, said McKenzie Kibler, press secretary for the Minister of Transportation.
“MSI is being front-loaded to provide flexibility for municipalities to plan according to their needs. The $1.196 billion provided in 2021-22 will allow municipalities to sustain existing projects and can be spread out over a three-year period.”