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2018 Saskatchewan Budget sees a decrease in support to municipalities

Cities in Saskatchewan will see less money from the province in their 2018 budget, however the impact won’t be felt in Lloydminster, according to Mayor Gerald Aalbers.

The Saskatchewan Budget released last week, provides $412.9 million in support to municipalities, which is a decrease of $23.1 million from last year. The budget will allocate $155 million to urban municipalities that includes Lloydminster, a decrease of $10.7 million.

The revenue sharing to municipalities is based on the Provincial Sales Tax collected by the government from 2016-2017, that was down two years ago and therefore will see less money being given to cities in the province. Aalbers says that despite the decrease in financial support the budget isn’t directly impacting the City.

“There was no new taxes and no direct influence of anything that has come to my mind and my attention to this point. It was a government with a new premier, a new minister of finance brought out the budget and it was very interesting, but overall from a municipal perspective we are no better no worse than we were going into the budget.”

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The infrastructure budget has also decreased by $10.9 million, with $123.4 million being given to municipal projects. In Lloydminster, the biggest project waiting for funding is the $75 million Wasterwater Treatment Plant that Aalbers says is still waiting for support from the Alberta Government.

“We’ve made some very good headway with the province of Saskatchewan, but because this is a cooperation of the two provinces before we move forward with the federal government, we’re still waiting on the second piece from the Government of Alberta.”

The budget is increasing funding in policing grants by $1 million to a total of $17.5 million to help with issues of rural crime. Aalbers says that the City is waiting to see if the grants are applicable to them, but says he is appreciative of the enhancement of policing in rural areas.

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