Northern Sunrise County feeling crunch of provincial budget cuts

Politicians in Northern Sunrise County are wondering how they can keep services and property taxes in the current position.

When the provincial government unveiled its budget on February 25, it included a 25 percent cut to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, also called MSI.

Northern Sunrise Reeve, Carolyn Kolebaba tells the Trending 55 Newsroom that this could lead to some difficult decisions.

“There is only one taxpayer and you can only tax them so much,” says Kolebaba.

“The fallout of all this is seems like municipalities have become a bank for the Alberta Government, and that is a sad story because in the end, we are all going to be in the same predicament; and then what will the province do? Take our keys?”

Kolebaba also mentions that no decisions have been made on how to address the shortfall as of yet.

She tells us the county has been increasing its reserves over the years.

“At one time, the federal government was looking at municipalities saying they have to have money in their reserves for their assets, and if they don’t, then maybe you don’t get grants,” explains the reeve.

“During the good times, we did add to reserves so our level of service is high, for sure, but at the same token, our residents have gotten used to that level of service.”

– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom

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