SUMMERSIDE – Talks with the province over a provincial/municipal funding formula remain at the top of the priority list for the city of Summerside.
© MIke Carson/Journal Pioneer
Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall wants action on the city’s request to bring 600 Maritime Electric customers under the Summerside Electric Utility. The residents became part of Summerside following amalgamation in 1995.
Deputy mayor Bruce MacDougall, chairman of the city’s financial services committee, said talks are still underway to reach an equitable agreement.
“Our major focus right now is the ongoing discussion with the province regarding proposed revenue sharing agreement,” MacDougall told city council, Monday night. “The city was recently notified that its servicing grant and equalization funding will be increased one per cent over the 201-14 level.”
He said there are other aspects of the funding arrangement that are still under discussion with the province.
“While, I acknowledge that the province does have financial challenges of its own, we and the other municipalities are looking forward to an agreement that is fair, that recognizes our financial challenges and provides a stable and predictable level of funding for the long term.”
MacDougall told council that financial services staff are working on a strategic projects which will be their key focus for the rest of the year.
“Our biggest priorities are the development of a long-term capital improvement plan which will contain the city’s infrastructure priorities over the next 10 years and a plan for how these priorities will be funded,” he said.
“This project is underway as we speak and will be released by the end of the summer and this work ties in quite nicely with the province’s initiative to develop a comprehensive asset management program for all municipalities.”
MacDougall said an asset management program will be required for federal gas tax rebates.
“In order to access federal gas tax funding in the future, all municipalities in the province must have some form of an asset management program in place by March 31, 2018,” he said. “Projects such as this and our capital improvement plan process will help produce better information for decision making and enhance our processes for transparency and accountability.”