City council discusses public disclosure as part of new provincial funding requirement
Lloydminster City Hall in the winter. (Brendan Collinge, 106.1 The Goat)
A new process to receive provincial funding is putting a piece of Lloydminster’s charter in the spotlight.
The Saskatchewan Government is testing a new process in order for a city to receive a portion of the municipal revenue sharing grant.
As part of the process, cities must fill six requirements: complete an audited financial statement, complete a waterworks report, have good standing in education property tax reporting, adopt a council procedures bylaw, adopt an employee code of conduct and complete a public disclosure statement annually.
The city has fulfilled all the requirements except for the public disclosure statement. Members of council would have to disclose any shareholdings or businesses that work with the city. Currently, the wording in the charter indicates that council members may file a statement.
“Council was centred around whether or not it’s something we should consider doing seeing as the province of Saskatchewan considers it best practice. Whether or not the City of Lloydminster would consider doing would go over and above of what the charter requires us to do,” says Councillor Jonathan Torreson.
While the city is set to receive the funding for 2020, the requirements would affect the following year’s grant. The grant is based on population with a quarter of the 6 per cent PST going towards it. Lloydminster receives about $2 million from the grant which is put towards general operations.
The new requirements would also affect newly elected councillors who would have to make a public disclosure statement annually.
Torreson hopes to bring the issue up at future council meetings.
“I’m looking forward to potentially having the city implement that, depending on where council lands on the issue.”
In 2019-20, the Government of Saskatchewan will distribute $251 million to municipalities through the revenue sharing grant.