municipal Financial Sustainability
Municipalities in Alberta and across Canada are providing a level of service to its residents never seen before. In addition to what would be seen as core services- such as garbage collection, water and sewer, planning and development, or roads- many other services like recreation and leisure, arts and culture, special events, snow removal, landscaping, and many others have become standard offerings in towns and cities. This level of service has become unsustainable in the eyes of many.
Adding to rising costs, the province of Alberta continues to "download" the responsibility to pay for many additional items like policing and infrastructure to municipalities. Compounding this problem is the provincial government's insistence that it will reduce the funding it provides. This will necessitate some very difficult decisions on the part of towns and cities regarding the level of services they provide as most would agree that taxes can not continue rise at a rate required to sustain service levels.
Three options are available: 1) Reduce the level of services available to residents; 2) Increase non tax-related revenue sources, and/or, 3) Regionalize services in an effort to optimize resources. The Municipal Services Group can assist municipalities in finding ways to assess their current state, secure alternative revenue sources, and sharing services to optimize resources.
Revenue Generation Opportunities
Utility Rate Reviews
Water, Sewer, and Stormwater utilities are a core service provided by municipalities. However, many towns an cities set their utility rates in an ad hoc manner. Understanding what the full cost of the utility is is a key piece to setting the rate. The Municipal Services Group can assist your municipality with a Cost of Service Study (CSS) which analyses the costs to provide service to each customer class (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial) thereby determining the appropriate rate to pass along to consumers.
Off Site Levy (OSL) Bylaw Reviews
Most municipalities cannot afford to pay 100% of the costs of new municipal infrastructure.
Off‑Site Levies can are one tool to recover the costs a municipality will incur for new or expanded municipal infrastructure or facilities. The Municipal Services Group can assist you with updating your OSL bylaw.
Federal, Provincial, and Private Grants
Naming Rights, Sponsorship, and Advertising Programs