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Provincial cabinet to decide ID 349 tax money future

The decision regarding millions of dollars of tax revenues from ID 349 is in the hands of Alberta Government cabinet, said MLA David Hanson.

On Friday’s The Alberta Legislature, Hanson said he was hoping that a decision would’ve been made by now on what the new formula will look like.

The decision-making delays have caused Cold Lake and Bonnyville councils to make tough choices in waiting to know what they’ll receive.

“I was hoping that we’d have an answer by now. I had my final meetings with the minister on this about two weeks ago. And my understanding is before cabinet. It’s a decision that he has to make with approval of cabinet and hopefully we’ll have an answer soon. That’s all I can say,” said Hanson.

The Alberta Legislature

The Alberta Legislature with MLA David B. Hanson

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Friday, February 14, 2020

 

“We’ve been to multiple meetings. They put forward their requests and their concerns with the Minister. Everybody has. We had kind of a tentative agreement that was agreeable to five out of the six parties and I’m hoping that we can answer very soon.”

Not only is the money moving forward in question, but 2019’s funding as well.

Cold Lake had $16 million penciled into their budget last year, while Bonnyville has almost $5 million they’re waiting on from last year.

The M.D. of Bonnyville, Fishing Lake Metis Settlement, Elizabeth Metis Settlement, and Glendon are also involved in the ID 349 deal.

‘Hoping to find out any day now’

Cold Lake city council has circled March 10th on their calendars.

They’re hoping to deal with more than 20 funding requests from community groups that the City has deferred until the ID 349 situation is resolved.

“We did an interim budget until March 31 so we have a lot of decisions to make. We have deferred all of these spending decisions until March 10. We’re hoping to find out any day now find what it is we have for money, then we can wrap up the budget and move forward,” said Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After.

“We want to keep Cold Lake moving forward and keep things progressing and a lot of user groups are relying on municipal grants to help them out.”

The Morning After with the Mayor of City of Cold Lake Craig Copeland

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Friday, February 14, 2020

Meanwhile, the Town of Bonnyville has made some uncomfortable decisions by increasing their debt limit to pay back their share of the regional waterline.

They had planned to use their ID 349 payment towards the waterline.