WHEREAS municipal and community facilities provide for the recreational, social, and cultural needs of the community;AND WHEREAS operating costs of these facilities are becoming an increasing burden on municipalities;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta to amend the Community Facility Enhancement Program grant guidelines to allow for 10 per cent of the annual provincial allocation to be utilized for operational assistance, on a matching basis with municipalities which own and operate recreational facilities.
The Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) utilizes Alberta Lottery Funds to assist communities with the construction, renovation or redevelopment of community public use facilities.The 2004-05 budget allocation is $38.5 million and it has been maintained at a similar level for several years. Municipalities and communities have benefited greatly from grants under the CFEP Program.Many municipal facilities are experiencing significant increases in operating costs, given the impact of higher utility, insurance and maintenance costs. The ability of many rural communities to meet the increased costs associated with recreation facilities is limited. Currently, operating costs must be offset with a combination of user fees and municipal property tax contributions.A change to the requirements of the CFEP Grant by Alberta Gaming to allow for applications to assist with operating costs would provide much needed relief to municipalities across Alberta which operate recreation facilities. The requirement for a matching component would ensure that the municipality making the application is committed to the long-term sustainability of the facility.
The AAMDC does not have any resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue. However, resolutions 8-01S, 7-01S and ER-01F were endorsed and request increased funding and program changes through the former Community Lottery Grants Program. Resolution 19-02F was endorsed at the fall 2002 convention, expresses opposition to CFEP applications from wildlife or environmental groups.
The provincial government has indicated it has no immediate plans to change CFEP grant guidelines. However, the government will consider facility operational assistance grants on a case-by-case basis through the Community Initiatives Program (CIP). The responsible ministry is Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture.