The Dryden Observer

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Preparing for KDMA

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

Leaders from the Kenora District municipalities will converge in Ear Falls this week, working to identify common issues to pass up to higher levels of political process.

Dryden city councillor Gary Case says he expects to hear a good deal of budget talk this week as he expects many neighbouring municipalities are finding themselves in a similar situation to Dryden.

With government stimulus spending presenting rare opportunities for municipalities to spend more on capital projects, Case says the city’s one-third share of those costs has resulted in budget difficulties in a time when residential and commercial rate-payers are bearing the brunt. Pursuing a more advantageous funding formula from both levels of government is one possible course of action.

“Right now our budget is not good,” said Case. “Budget-wise, I think everyone is hurting. It’s a struggle. We can find out what everyone else is doing and we may have some ideas of our own that we can add to the discussion.”

Case says a lack of Connecting Link funding, needed to rehabilitate the Duke St. Overpass, is an issue that is sure to come to the fore. Connecting Link funds allow municipalities to repair roads and bridges on highway corridors while government bears 90 per cent of the costs.

“They haven’t released any money in that for two years now,” said Case. “Consequently, we’re way behind in maintaining our Connecting Links. These are some of the difficulties that are brought up at KDMA, get passed on to Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and end up at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to make their way to the Ministers in the government.”

Chris Marchand

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