After MSI, what’s next?

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is ready to discuss its priorities with a new provincial funding program that will replace the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding program.
At its regular meeting Feb. 8, council approved a briefing document to the provincial government to discuss the new Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) that succeeds MSI in January 2024.
Council plans to present the briefing to Municipal Affairs Minister Rebecca Schulz.
At is regular meeting Jan. 11, council passed a motion to request a meeting with Schulz during the Rural Municipalities of Alberta Spring Convention March 20-22 in Edmonton.
The LGFF will include $722 million in capital funding, Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services, told council.
Council recommends the government release the LGFF framework formula and give a clear understanding what will happen with any unspent MSI funding, the document states.
“Currently MSI and in 2024, the LGFF program is crucial to the long-term sustainability of Big Lakes County and its budget process,” the document reads.
The money helps fund large capital projects in order to update long-term infrastructure in the municipality.
“At the 2022 Fall RMA Convention, Big Lakes County was told the new formula for the LGFF would be decided in early 2023,” the document says.
“Big Lakes would like to know if the formula for the new LGFF has been decided and finalized.”
The document asks the minister about the transition to the LGFF from MSI.
“Big Lakes wants to know what will happen with the leftover MSI funds that are sitting waiting to be used. . .”

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