In their 2009 Budget, the province has recognized their role in supporting municipal infrastructure and has stepped to the plate with the money. “We are pleased and excited about today’s budget,” said David Marit, President of SARM. “We are pleased with the increase in municipal support grants and the additional help on the school tax issue. And, we are excited about the opportunities for growth this investment by the province will trigger.”
The provincial budget provides for an increase in funding for rural municipal infrastructure of over $20M as well as $48.5M in Municipal Operating Grant (formerly Revenue Sharing). “This increase, along with the school tax relief, makes this the best budget for rural Saskatchewan in history,” said Marit. Rural Municipalities in the oil and gas areas of the province have been struggling to keep up with the demand for roads needed to facilitate resource development. The additional funding will help these municipalities build the roads the industry needs to continue to grow. Also, the new money will help municipalities to begin to address the huge deficit in the municipal bridges which is estimated to be at $85M at present and growing annually.
In agriculture, announcements included a plan to introduce a province-wide water
infrastructure program in April, a commitment to fully fund and improve Agri-Stability and Crop Insurance and a Pest Control Program which includes the continuation of the gopher rebate program and the predation program to manage wild boar. “With this budget, Saskatchewan is truly open for business,” concluded President Marit.