Council updated its advocacy plan in a general meeting on Monday.
The Town of Stony Plain’s new advocacy plan aims to strengthen relations with other governments, while also ensuring its own priorities are addressed.
Council accepted an update to this strategy at Monday's meeting.
Mayor William Choy says this plan is intended to create greater transparency when the Town needs to collaborate with regional partners and the province.
He says this plan partly comes in response to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, a provincial government funding plan that’s expected to end in 2021. He says without this funding, infrastructure costs within the town would fall solely on its citizens.
“In the end, there’s only one tax-payer. [With] 17 thousand people in the Town of Stony Plain, the taxes would need to see a large increase to generate the money [for infrastructure]. But for the government to tax four million people; that’s a lot less [of a] tax increase,” he said.
Choy says the Town hopes to negotiate a funding plan that will give smaller communities the same benefits Edmonton and Calgary have been promised.
“[The deal these cities have] guarantees them some kind of funding formula, so they know how to budget for future years. If we don’t have anything, we’re just at the will of the [provincial] government. If they want to give us 10 thousand dollars or 10 million dollars, that’s really hard for municipalities to budget for the services they provide residents,” he said.
He says the Municipal Government Act, which governs all Albertan municipalities, requires council to lay-out a budget for the next four to five years, but if a new provincial funding strategy is not agreed-upon, they will not easily be able to.
As part of the advocacy plan, council identified four priorities to discuss with its regional partners and the province: the Stony Plain Central School replacement, a new rec centre, authority over highways 779 and 628, and updating the aforementioned MSI.