The city of Swift Current has announced the signing of the Municipal Gas Tax Fund Agreement, which will see an estimated $4.58 million roll into the city’s accounts over the next five years.
The agreement with the provincial government will allow federal gas tax funds to be distributed to municipalities around the province. Amounts are allocated on a per capita basis.
“We’ve been able to apply (the money) to various infrastructure projects in the city,” explained Tim Marcus, the city’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer. “For instance, the original amount that we got in the previous 10 year agreement was applied to service the debt that resulted from the Iplex expansion.”
Fixing infrastructure is the primary reason for the agreement. Marcus said the city will look at things like expanding or replacing existing community facilities, or rebuilding or maintaining other assets like roads.
So far, however, the city doesn’t have a specific plan in place.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Marcus said. “Currently the funds that we’re getting are still being applied to debt service requirements.”
Since the funds all handed out based on population numbers, Swift Current’s share could rise or fall halfway through the 10-year agreement. Changes to the amount dispersed will be made after the new census takes place in 2016.
Over the past 10 years the city has received $5,860,563.37 from the agreement. All Saskatchewan municipalities are allowed to sign on to the agreement.
Saskatchewan’s total allocation for the next 10 years is estimated at $292.71 million.