Community Funding Review

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) is doing a comprehensive review of its municipal funding policies.

Funding Allocations being considered are:

• Operations and Maintenance Funding (2013-14 – $47,030,000)
• Community Public Infrastructure Funding (2013-14 Revised – $34,454,000/2014-15 – $28,002,000)
• Water and Sewer Services Funding (2013-14 – $14,647,000)
• Gas Tax Funding (2013-2014 – $15,000,000)

This is the first overall and detailed review of funding distribution since the creation of the New Deal in 2007.

Background

Originally, MACA proposed a funding review starting this year and finishing in April 2015. At its Fall 2014 sitting, the Legislative Assembly directed MACA to complete this review by May 2014.

Although this is a fast schedule, it is important to ensure that the review is completed by the May 2014 deadline because:

• The Legislative Assembly has expressed an interest in whether the levels of funding are adequate
• If the review is not completed before the next budget planning cycle begins in the spring, changes to the funding allocations could not be considered for the 2015-2016 fiscal year

Stakeholder Review Group

MACA is establishing a Stakeholder Review Group to work in partnership with MACA on the Funding Review.
The Stakeholder Review Group is made up of elected leaders and administrative staff of community governments. MACA has attempted to strike a reasonably-sized committee as a working group representing the range of community interests. Not all communities will be on the Group, but their interests will be represented by members drawn from the variety of community interests and circumstances.

Click for a list of the Stakeholder Review Group Membership

Click for a copy of the Community Funding Review Update

 

The criteria used to select the Stakeholder Review Group were the needs for:

• Balanced representation regionally, and from small, medium and large size communities
• Representation by a range of types of communities, e.g. tax based and non-tax based; designated authorities; on- and off-road communities
• Participation by experienced individuals who are well informed about funding
• A balance between political representation and administrative representation
• Unique circumstances raised by communities in this discussion, such as including representation from regional centres, or where there are two communities in one area

Participation in the Stakeholder Review Group has been confirmed. Due to high rates of turn-over in senior administrative staff, senior finance staff who have served as Acting Senior Administrative Officers are included in the Group.
The Stakeholder Review Group will attend three workshops in Yellowknife planned for:

• January 13/14 (Monday Tuesday)
• February 26/27 (Wednesday Thursday)
• April 15/16  (Tuesday, Wednesday)

Travel expenses are reimbursed by MACA.

NWT Association of Communities’ Participation

In addition to having a number of Board Representatives on the Funding Review, the NWTAC will actively participate in the review process:

• NWTAC staff will attend all Funding Review Meetings
• The NWTAC will be the primary communications agency, as we can communicate quickly and directly to our members. A variety of communications tools will be used, including direct emails, bulletins, newsletter coverage, and website posting of documents
• The process will be using the results of the Capital Expense Reports provided by the NWTAC Asset Management Program
• The NWTAC Board will be continually updated and review status at its March 2014 Board Meeting
• There will be a major presentation at the NWTAC Annual General Meeting

How Communities Can Participate

The NWTAC will ensure that detailed information is distributed to all communities throughout the process. There will be frequent opportunities to provide input on issues and concerns to the Stakeholder Review Groups and the NWTAC office.

To provide comments or suggestions at any time, please contact NWTAC CEO Sara Brown at sara@nwtac.com or 867 873 8359