Next week, our area is sending, as Diana Oliver likes to put it, a “baseball team” to Halifax to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference May 30 to June 3.
Networking and getting information are the two reasons cited for attending, a common theme cited by councilors from both councils. Gathering information. Keep that thought in mind.
May 14, the FCM and Government of Canada [Infrastructure Canada] announced over $3 million in funding for 50 new initiatives in communities across Canada through two programs: the Municipal Asset Management Program, and the Green Municipal Fund. The program sponsors infrastructure planning and green innovation.
Who got some money in Alberta?
* The Town of Sexsmith received $49,641 for asset management assessments, data collection and reporting;
* The Town of Provost received $50,000 for integrated asset management planning;
* The Town of Viking received $50,000 for infrastructure assessment and a 10-year capital plan, Phase 1;
* The Village of Vilna, received $50,000 for infrastructure assessment and 10-year capital plan [sanitary system];
* The Village of Kitscoty received $40,000 toward better asset management initiative;
* The Village of Holden received $50,000 for asset data collection and 10-year capital plan;
*The Village of Waskatenau received $50,000 for infrastructure assessment and 10-year capital plan [sanitary system];
The Town of High Prairie received…nothing, confirmed in a May 15 e-mail from CAO Brian Martinson.
Taxpayers need to ask why. If our councilors are “gathering so much information” and getting so much value from attending the FCM, why are we not applying for these grants?
There is more!
* The County of Wetaskiwin received $50,000 for asset management data collection;
* Thorhild County received $50,000 for an asset management program;
Big Lakes County received…nothing!
“We have not applied for funding under these programs over the last two years,” says county CAO Roy Brideau in an e-mail.
There is some good news, however, for the perplexed taxpayer.
“The county has begun our asset management project with Jordan Panasiuk as our team lead and have applied for funding from the MAMP for 2018.”
There are no plans to access the Green Municipal Fund, he adds.
It does not explain why it has taken the county so long to apply for grants under these programs, given the number of projects they have, plus the baseball team of councillors they send to the FCM each year. They had to know about these grants, right? They were gathering information, right? That’s what they tell us. Does it take years to access such grants?
There is more!
The green grant program is interesting. Approved projects under the GMF could include feasibility and operational studies, plans or pilot projects.
Given some councillors penchant for green projects [Michael Long] where are the plans? Projects? Grant applications when the money flows freely!
* The Town of Devon received $9,000 for a building upgrade energy audit net-zero analysis;
* The Town of Mayerthorpe received $79,600 for Phase II environmental site assessment;
* The Town of Sylvan Lake received $101,300 for a sustainable waterfront area redevelopment plan;
* Mountain View County received $21,500 for a former operational services yard environmental rehabilitation program.
And we got nothing!
We can only hope the baseball team we’re sending to Halifax next week hits a home run regarding these two grant programs, not strike out as in previous years.