Cochrane’s strong growth over the past year resulted in the Town receiving an 8% increase in Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Finance Minister Joe Ceci announced the allocations April 16 as part of the provincial budget.
Cochrane will receive $5,970,749 in MSI capital grants, an increase of $436,770 over last year. The grant includes $4,463,429 MSI Capital and a $1,507,320 Basic Municipal Transportation Grant.
Cochrane will also receive $194,878 towards MSI operating projects, an increase of $14,010.
Mayor Ivan Brooker is very pleased with the increases: “This funding allows the Town to plan ahead and continue with our ten-year capital funding strategy.”
Cochrane Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) funding is maintained at $566,503; there is also access to grant dollars for initiatives such as affordable housing and seniors’ supports.
The Town continues to seek clarification from Alberta Transportation on whether allocated capital funding might include consideration of the Highway 1A and 22 intersection.
“We are optimistic that the capital funding is coming together for this important intersection,” said Mayor Brooker.
While strong growth has a positive impact on capital grant allocations it has a negative impact on Cochrane’s share of education taxes.
Cochrane’s 2017 education requisition is increasing 15% — up to $13,912,757 from $12,102,770 in 2016 — as a result of our growth. The education portion of property taxes collected by the Town is established by the province based on an equalized formula. The requisition percentage increase is not directly reflective of property tax increases. Property tax rates are finalized in May.