The Alberta Government tabled its budget for 2017 last week and, while the immediate reaction was mixed, things actually look pretty good from the point of view of municipalities like the Town of Drumheller.
"The MSI (Municipal Sustainabiility Initiative) operating budget, last year it was $66,000 but it went up to $215,000, " pointed out mayor Terry Yemen. "The MSI capital is at $1.3 million, so we're looking at an overall increase of $110,000."
There are also a number of other grants the town will be going after, including for a new bridge near Wayne (#11) and a new waste water lift station for East Coulee. However, Yemen noted they didn't get everything they asked for.
"Through AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) there was a request to the government where the carbon levy, there be an exemption for municipalities because we're talking, I think it's in excess of $20 million that the municipalities are going to have to find to pay this," he outlined. "The provincial government didn't see a value in what AUMA was asking for."
With that taken into account it would appear Drumheller broke even on the provincial budget.
"We have $109,000 (grant increase) and we're looking at about $100,000 is what the carbon levy is going to (cost the town), so to say that we've got $100,000 extra to do something with, no that's not the case, they've already spoken for it."
The provincial budget also sets aside $25 million for flood mitigation and Yemen has a meeting with infrastructure minister Brian Mason in the first week of February to press Drumheller's case.