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Olds could consider spreading MSI money out to cover future years' cutbacks

Council expected to decide on the suggestion later

OLDS — The provincial government has indicated that some of its funding it provides to the town will fall sharply in the next couple of years.

So finance director Sheena Linderman has a suggestion for councillors: move some of the funding the province has provided for this year into budgets for 2022 and 2023.

Linderman brought that idea up during council’s April 6 policies and priorities meeting. Council is expected to make a decision later.

The funding in question is distributed via the provincial government’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) program.

Linderman said the Olds allocation was actually increased for 2021.

She said earlier the town had expected to receive $1.88 million in MSI funding. However, the province actually allocated $2.5 million for 2021, an increase of about $600,000.

In contrast, Linderman said, the town’s MSI allocations for 2022 and 2023 are expected to be just over $1 million.

“That is a significant drop from what we’ve seen in the past,” Linderman said.

“So if we were able to carry forward this amount, we could even that out to just over $1.6 million for both of those years to help us carry on with some of our capital projects.”