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WHEREAS Alberta Department of Infrastructure and Transportation established a formula to distribute funds under the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program (AMIP) to urban municipalities with a basic level of funding for villages, summer villages and rural municipalities on a per capita basis with no basic funding for hamlets; AND WHEREAS we endorse the acknowledgement that villages are communities that provide certain services that require significant infrastructure, and these communities should be provided with a basic grant allocation to upgrade aging infrastructure to meet regulations as outlined by Alberta Environment; AND WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has the financial resources, now that we are debt free, to reinvest in the ongoing sustainability and growth of rural Alberta;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Province of Alberta to amend the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program funding formula to ensure that the same basic funding of $500,000 that was provided to villages shall also apply to hamlets.
Under the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program, a base grant of $500,000.00 is awarded to each village and a base amount of $50,000.00 is awarded to each summer village, but hamlets in rural municipalities receive $904.00 per capita. Better equity becomes evident only after both a village and a hamlet have 553 ratepayers, but under that population benchmark there exists a significant funding inequity. Adjusting the AMIP formula to provide hamlets, as defined as a community in the Municipal Government Act, with the same basic funding as villages could rectify this inequity. The AMIP grant has a provision to adjust for census population changes mid-way during the five year program that could be used for this adjustment. Rural governments are facing onerous cost pressures to replace or upgrade older infrastructure to bring them to acceptable standards. Increased financial support for hamlets is required to keep these communities sustainable for those ratepayers who have invested in these communities. Alberta’s solid fiscal situation should ensure that solid development and growth occurs in all communities across the province. Increased economic activity and population growth will continue to place tremendous infrastructure pressures on all communities, both rural and urban. The views and aspirations of both rural and urban municipalities are valuable to the growth of the province and must be a part of the discussions on the future economic and growth strategy of this province. At the AAMDC Spring 2005 Convention, members endorsed resolution 8-05S, urging the Government of Alberta to recognize hamlets for grant purposes. In the event that resolution 16-05F is passed, the AAMDC will combine it and resolution 8-05S in developing an appropriate lobby strategy toward ensuring that infrastructure funding issues of hamlets are better recognized and addressed.
The Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program (AMIP) concludes in 2009-10. The funding guidelines for AMIP have not changed to provide separate funding for hamlets. The Association will continue to urge the Government of Alberta to provide funding for hamlets similar to that of villages for all grant programs.