Government Relations Minister Lori Carr has announced specific funding allocations for all communities within the province under the new Municipal Economic Enhancement Program 2020 (MEEP).
“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to continue to fulfil its commitment to the people of the province by ensuring important infrastructure dollars are available to our communities when they need it most,” Carr said in a release May 19. “This $150 million investment into Saskatchewan’s municipalities can be used for shovel ready infrastructure projects and initiatives, and will help keep our municipalities strong during the current pandemic.”
MEEP 2020 will provide $150 million, or approximately $143 per capita, to local municipalities to support investments in infrastructure, to stimulate economic recovery and encourage local job creation.
For Yorkton that means $2,348,953 headed to the city.
“This is like found money. I had no heads up this was coming,” Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney told Yorkton This Week.
Maloney said the money is of course welcomed, and is something cities such as Yorkton and Saskatoon were calling for because they have chosen to forge ahead with capital projects even as some raised concerns given the current pandemic. He said locally continuing projects was seen as a good thing because infrastructure needs upgrading, and it stimulates the economy too.
“You get out of any recession by building, because everybody is working,” he said.
The $2.3 million is significant locally, as Yorkton’s 2020 capital budget is $4.3 million. The dollars will allow the City to look into doing more, said Maloney.
“It opens the door to do some more work,” he said. “It can help do all those things you never get too.”
While Maloney noted no specific projects have been approved for the money, there are always streets and roads in need of attention. A decision on exactly where to spend the dollars will be made by Yorkton Council in the coming weeks.
Other allocation highlights for MEEP 2020, include:
• City of Saskatoon – $35,529,807
• City of Regina - $30,916,844
• City of Prince Albert - $5,163,587
• City of Moose Jaw - $4,870,956
• City of Swift Current - $2,386,467
• City of North Battleford - $2,057,472
The program is a key component of the Government of Saskatchewan’s $7.5 billion, two-year capital plan, that was announced on May 6, to build a strong Saskatchewan and stimulate Saskatchewan’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All funding related to the program must be used by the local municipality by March 31, 2022.
For more information on the MEEP 2020 program, including a full list of project categories and community funding allocations visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/funding-finances-and-asset-management/funding/municipal-economic-enhancement-program.