Municipalities all across Manitoba have been given some extra funding from the province, including the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie
The RM has received a boost, courtesy of the provincial government's $47 million in unconditional funding toward municipalities. The RM will receive an additional $310,036.62, which is a 58 per cent increase.
Reeve Kam Blight says the RM council is glad that the province is aware of the challenges municipalities all over the province have been dealing with since the funding freeze in 2016.
"It's not necessarily going to be earmarked or targeted to one certain project or anything like that," explains Blight. "But, we're definitely seeing an increase in expenditures and costs across our municipality. It helps to mitigate those extra costs that we're seeing due to the inflationary pressures such as, you know, employment, gas costs, et cetera."
Blight adds that the only way for the RM to generate revenue is through taxation, and with inflationary pressures being seven to nine per cent, it wasn't easy to stay ahead. It left the RM with two choices, either raise taxes or begin to cut programs that residents rely on. Luckily, this funding will allow the RM council to breathe much easier.
"We need to know what we can count on going forward so we can properly plan over the next number of years rather just on an annual basis," says Blight. "But, to receive these extra funds right now, it's greatly appreciated. We're going to continue to hope that these dollars are coming on an annual basis."
The next RM of Portage la Prairie meeting is set for March 14th.