Use of Cash In Lieu of Dedicated Lands
Res #: 17-18A
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS The Dedicated Lands Regulations, 2009 requires that monies collected in lieu of dedicated lands during the subdivision process may only be used for the purchasing of dedicated lands, developing or upgrading public parks or public recreational facilities;
WHEREAS the requirements of The Planning and Development Act, 2007 and The Dedicated Land Regulations, 2009 are biased towards urban municipalities as many RMs do not have or want to develop public parks or recreational facilities for various reasons, and the legislation does not provide alternative options;
WHEREAS the Ministry of Government Relations suggests that RMs donate money in lieu to urban municipalities within close proximity; however, most RMs feel that monies collected could be better utilized for infrastructure projects or projects that serve to benefit the public (i.e. fire services, water and waste treatment facilities) or are within close proximity to large urban centres that do not need funds from surrounding RMs;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Government Relations to make changes to The Dedicated Lands Regulations, 2009 that will allow rural municipalities additional flexibility to use monies collected in lieu of dedicated lands for municipal infrastructure projects and fire services, thereby correcting the current urban bias contained within legislation.
Responses From: The Ministry of Government Relations
June 25, 2020
The ministry appreciates the need for rural municipalities to manage growth and infrastructure in a responsible and cost effective manner. The ministry encourages rural municipalities to use available tools in The Planning and Development Act, 2007 (Act), such as servicing agreements, development levy agreements, and cash in lieu of dedicated municipal reserve lands (cash in lieu), as well as tools within other acts, to provide services for community development.
The regulations allow dedicated lands account monies to be used for municipal or regional public parks and public recreational facilities. Under the Act and regulations, both rural and urban municipalities are able to jointly invest or share dedicated lands account monies for the purposes of serving the recreational needs of regional residents. This can lead to improved regional facilities, such as hockey rinks, curling rinks and swimming pools.
My officials inform me the topic of expanding the allowable uses of dedicated lands accounts monies was discussed in depth at consultation meetings during the recent review of the regulations. The ministry maintains the position that where developers are required by the approving authority, in consultation with the rural municipality, to provide cash in lieu for recreational purpose, developers provide these mandated funds based on the rural municipality's commitment to use these funds for recreational services and recreational infrastructure. Further, rural municipalities have the ability to require developers contribute funds through municipal servicing agreements or development levies for the capital costs of other infrastructure needed to service the new development.
Municipalities have various tools available to fund infrastructure projects. In 2020-21, the Government of Saskatchewan will distribute $278 million to municipalities in Municipal Revenue Sharing. This commitment represents a $151 million increase, 119 per cent, over 2007-08. This level of commitment aligns with the Government of Saskatchewan's promise to develop a long-term revenue sharing plan with the municipal sector that is linked to the performance of the province's economy. For 2020-21, $79.257 million, or 28.5 per cent, is allocated to rural municipalities. Councils may utilize this funding to address local priorities, which may include infrastructure needs and fire services. Municipalities also have the opportunity to utilize their Gas Tax Fund (GTF) allocation to invest in tangible capital assets in eighteen eligible categories, which includes wastewater and drinking water. Saskatchewan's allocation is $324.2 million for the last half of the agreement from 2019-20 to 2023-24. Finally, in May, 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the new Municipal Economic Enhancement Program 2020 (MEEP). MEEP 2020 will provide $150 million, or approximately $143 per capita, to local municipalities to support investments in infrastructure, to stimulate economic recovery and encourage local job creation.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of dedicated lands. The use of public parks, trails, sports fields, and natural areas has significantly increased during the pandemic and have played a critical role maintaining the health and well-being of communities and citizens.
Lori Carr – Minister of Government Relations
View Response From The Ministry of Government Relations
April 30, 2018
- The ministry appreciates the need for municipalities to manage growth and Infrastructure in a responsible and cost effective manner. The ministry encourages municipalities to consider using available tools, such as servicing agreements, development levy agreements and cash in lieu of dedicated municipal reserve lands (cash in lieu), to provide services for community development.
- The Planning and Development Act, 2007 (PDA) allows cash in lieu to be used for recreational purposes. Moreover, where developers have provided cash in lieu, there Is an expectation these funds will be used for recreational services and infrastructure.
- The Dedicated Lands Regulations, 2009 (DLR) allows dedicated lands account monies, including cash in lieu, to be used for municipal or regional public parks and public recreational facilities. Under the PDA and the DLR, both rural and urban municipalities are able to Jointly invest or share dedicated lands account monies for the purposes of serving the recreational needs of residents. This can lead to improved regional recreational facilities, such as hockey rinks, curling rinks and swimming pools.
- The ministry is currently reviewing the DLR, and will consider the request to use cash in lieu for municipal infrastructure projects and fire services.
- Municipalities have various tools available to fund infrastructure projects. For example, the ministry has provided over a quarter of a billion dollars to municipalities in 2017-18 through its Municipal Revenue Sharing program. This program has provided more than $2 billion in unconditional funding to municipalities since 2007-08. Councils may utilize this funding to address local priorities, which may include infrastructure needs and fire services. Municipalities also have the opportunity to utilize their Gas Tax Fund (GTF) allocation to invest in tangible capital assets in 18 eligible categories, which includes wastewater and drinking water. Approximately $59.1 million will be provided in federal GTF funding in 2017/18.
Warren Kaeding – Minister of Governement Relations