Municipalities receive more funding due to growth

DAVIDSON—Thanks to population growth, many Saskatchewan municipalities learned last week they would receive increases in their revenue sharing grants from the provincial government.

The unconditional grants from the province are distributed on a per capita basis and are based on the most recent Canada Census population figures. The 2011 Census shows that Saskatchewan grew by 65,224 people between 2006 and 2011, so municipalities’ funding is growing too.

This year, the Town of Davidson will receive $207,017 from Municipal Affairs, an increase of $15,547 from the $191,470 it received in 2011-12. The increase is largely due to the fact Davidson’s population rose by 67 people, according to the 2011 Canada Census.

The revenue sharing grants are unconditional, meaning they may be spent however a municipality sees fit, said town administrator Gary Edom.

Last year’s grant of $191,470 was distributed by a formula comprised of a basic grant of $2,025 plus a per capita grant of $197.75 per person based on Davidson’s 2006 census population of 958.

With the exception of using the most recent census figures, this year’s funding formula has stayed about the same, said Jeff Welke, spokesman for Municipal Affairs.

In the 2012-13 provincial budget, released Wednesday, the government pointed out that Saskatchewan municipalities would receive record revenue sharing of $237.4 million, a 9.5 per cent increase from the previous year.

Most municipalities within The Davidson Leader’s coverage area saw their revenue sharing grants rise, provided their population increased.

Thursday, Municipal Affairs launched a website where people can check out revenue sharing totals for individual municipalities, whether it be a town, village, resort village, city, or a rural municipality.

The website boldly highlights the fact that in the past five years most municipalities have received substantial increases in their unconditional revenue sharing grants.

In 2007-08, Davidson received $99,329 and received healthy increases in funding from 2008 to 2011 when the 2006 Census population figure of 958 was used.

Over the last five years Davidson’s revenue sharing grant has gone up 108 per cent to $207,017 for 2012-23.

Most municipalities have seen increases in their revenue sharing grants.

However, some municipalities such as Aylesbury, saw a significant reduction in their revenue sharing grants due to the 2011 Census. Aylesbury this year will receive $4,025 because the 2011 Census population figures have the village’s population pegged at 10 people, a steep decline from the 35 people recorded in the 2006 Census.

Bladworth’s grant also declined, down to $14,0125 this year from $15,868 in 2011.