News — 06 December 2017

By Michael Christianson

Dryden will have less funding from the province to put towards much needed infrastructure next year.

Each year Dryden receives funding from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) and this year the city will receive $140,000 less than it did in 2017. This is the seventh year in a row that the funding has been reduced.

“The program changed at the end of 2012 and so 2013 was a transition year and 2014 was the first year of the revised program and basically what I found out is that after 2012 the government had significantly reduced the base program grant,” said City Treasurer Steven Lansdell-Roll. “It wasn’t an immediate reduction so they basically said by X date they are going to reduce the base program by a significant amount, but to ease the impact providing transition assistance. So for us transition assistance was $1.4 million in 2014 it will be $469,000 in 2018 so almost a million-dollar drop. That really is because of with the new program and the reduction of the base funding we really should have expected it.”

Lansdell-Roll says the change was harder to anticipate with the changeovers at City Hall including his position.

He adds that the Ontario Government has a messaging issue because their message has been expanding the far north with the OMPF and helping those in challenging fiscal circumstances. He says that with the province touting more for the north the thought was that there would be more and the drop in funding is a bit shocking.

Looking forward he asked is he could anticipate another drop in funding for 2019 but the OMPF could not confirm making it difficult to plan for the city’s future.

The Treasurer said that there will be less money for infrastructure in 2018 unless the city plans to do a levy increase or reduce costs. 

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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