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Sunday , 27 September 2020

Sobolewski: Great Relationships Responsible for $2 Mil Increase in Funding from MD

After reviewing urban assessments per capita, The Municipal District of Bonnyville (MD) Council has released the Inter-Municipal Cooperation Program (IMC).  With the approval of IMC, the Town of  Bonnyville and the Village of Glendon will both see increases in funding. The City of Cold Lake will also benefit from over $600,000 in funding from the MD in this agreement*. The City will see less funding, then its neighbouring communities, under the IMC due to the increase of revenue it receives from the taxes from ID-349 (Cold Lake Air Weapons Range).

Purpose for Funding:

  • To provide services/facilities in the urbans for the benefit of MD residents
  • To compensate the urbans for their infrastructure used by MD residents
  • To assist urban neighbour to remain sustainable

 

Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski, says the increase in funding came after years of building a great relationship with the MD.  “It’s an accumulation of a lot of discussions that we’ve had with the MD,” Mayor Sobolewski expresses the Town’s gratitude for the positive rapport that has been formed between the two governments, “I really want to thank the MD for taking this large step. I guess it pays to engage in collaboration and partnerships that we’ve strived so hard to achieve.”

The equalizing of the assessments equates to $3,840,839.48 for the Town of Bonnyville, with an allocation of 70 percent Capital funds; 40 percent to roads and  30 percent to other including recreation. While the other 30 percent has been allocated to Operational funds, including recreation. The equalization  equates to a $2 million increase in funding from the MD. Mayor Sobolewski says the funding will, “give the Town the ability to continue on our efforts to catch up with [Bonnyville’s] infrastructure debt.”

Mayor Sobolewski says he and the Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mark Power have been working for some time to complete the arrangement with the MD. “We’ve been working behind the scenes for about two years.”

The Capital funding rolls over if it is not used in the calendar year, for up-to two years, which opens up even more possibilities, says the Mayor, “it gives us more flexibility.” It also allows for stronger partnerships between the two municipalities, Mayor Sobolewski explains the funding is on a 50-50 basis. “It’s a 50-50 partnership, say for example undertaking the expansion of the library, or other things where there’s a MD usage, now it gives us the opportunity to undertake the work that we need to do. The funds do roll over, so we can keep for future years.” (Operating funding does not roll over)

Equalizing the assessment per capita will help to insure each municipality has a base level of funding to provide services. Funding the projects based on MD’s population percentage in each service area will provide for more equitable funding between the municipalities. Allocating funds based in the service/project type will insure some of the funds go to hard infrastructure which promotes the sustainability of the municipality.  – The Municipal District of Bonnyville No. 87

Mayor Sobolewski says he hasn’t had the opportunity to go through the finer details of the IMC, however he does know there is an approval process that’s required for the release of the money. IMC was just introduced Wednesday, December 9th, Mayor Sobolewski explains Council hasn’t had an opportunity to go through the details and due to the Christmas break, will likely not have a chance until the New Year.

 

*The $600,000 is new funds from the MD of Bonnyville to the City of Cold Lake, not a reduction in funding from previous years. The amount is less than the neighbouring communities because Cold Lake’s assessment is higher due to ID-349. 

About Jena Colbourne

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