Manitoba boosts municipal infrastructure funding
The Manitoba government will be distributing an additional $10 million in unconditional operating funding to rural municipalities as part of Budget 2019 to support their critical infrastructure needs, such as fixing roads and bridges, Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.
“The increase to the municipal baskets demonstrates continued efforts by our government to further streamline grant funding provided to municipalities,” said Wharton. “This additional funding reduces red tape and enhances the flexibility given to local governments on how to best invest provincial funding for important municipal services and local priorities, including road infrastructure.”
Basket funding was established in 2017 as a simplified approach to provide municipalities with a fair say in how dollars are invested. The minister noted it ensures strategic outcomes and maximizes value for money while allowing municipalities to invest in their own priority projects, such as road renewal or bridge rehabilitation. The additional $10 million will be allocated based on population thresholds and all local governments will receive an equitable share.
“The AMM appreciates the Province of Manitoba listening to the concerns raised by our members about the importance of investing in municipal roads and bridges,” said Ralph Groening, president, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM). “This funding is totally unconditional which provides greater flexibility and more ‘fair say’ for Manitoba municipalities.”
Funding added to the municipal operating basket is predictable and stable. Municipalities no longer have to apply for this funding for annual road work, reducing administration and red tape for local government, while ensuring communities can plan ahead and have access to the resources needed.
The enhanced support for municipalities is unconditional and complementary to federal funding, which means these funds are stackable. For example, this will allow municipalities to use the funds as their contribution to access provincial and federal funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program or apply them towards projects funded under the federal Gas Tax Fund.
“Ensuring that municipalities receive predictable, stable funding has been a priority for our government,” said Wharton. “The increase to the municipal baskets will allow municipalities to efficiently plan for future infrastructure projects while also maximizing their time during construction seasons.”
In addition to this new funding, the infrastructure needs of municipalities will be supported through:
• Provincial and federal funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program,
• An additional $2 million invested in the Manitoba Water Services Board budget for municipal water and sewer infrastructure, and
• The provincial sales tax decrease, estimated to save municipalities outside of Winnipeg $1.3 million per year.
For more information on Budget 2019, visit www.gov.mb.ca/budget2019/index.html.
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