By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Morinville – The Town of Morinville is set to receive $1,455,214 in Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, part of $465 million in funding communities outside Edmonton and Calgary are set to receive for the 2011-2012 budget year.
The provincial funding began in 2007 and is designed to provide significant long-term funding to enhance municipal sustainability and to allow municipalities to meet growth demands.
Morinville Mayor Lloyd Bertschi said he was pleased to hear Morinville would be receiving the monies this year.
“It’s been a terrific program that the premier introduced about four years ago,” Bertschi said. “We’ve been able to do a tremendous amount of capital projects that are catching us up from the last boom when things were going crazy, and also enabling us to prepare for the next wave that is coming.”
Bertschi said past contributions allowed the town to put $1 million towards the new fire truck as a one-time capital project. “We didn’t have to go to the tax payers of Morinville to increase taxes to buy a new fire truck,” the mayor said, adding the town has since implemented a proper asset management program, a reserve fund for town vehicles. “When we see something like that coming, we know ten years out to start putting monies away, rather than relying on a provincial grant that may or may not be available in the future. Not only are we catching up that way, but we are also now able to prepare for the future.”
The mayor said part of this year’s MSI funding is earmarked to pave 107th Street from the Provincial Building to the Fish and Game Club. “We are going to be able to do the paving and all that – curbs and gutters and proper drainage on that area as well,” Bertschi said, noting the project was approved as part of the 2011 budget. “It’s an area where we’re able to catch up to some road that’s gotten quite a bit busier.”
Bertschi said although some tax dollars will be used on the project, the majority is from the grant funding and developer contributions. “Between those three sources, we are able to get that road upgraded to a proper standard,” he said, adding it will reduce dust in town. “We’ve got lots of people going up to the Fish & Game and the baseball diamonds and the skate park. It’s going to be a real nice change.”
Other communities share in funding
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Other communities in the Morinville area are set to receive varying amounts of MSI funding. An announcement made last Thursday indicates Legal will receive $318,979, Gibbons $602,584, Bon Accord $433,870 and Sturgeon County $5,006,057.
MSI funding is broken down into capital and operational funding.