Municipalities Benefit From Provincial Targeted Sector Support Funding
Saskatchewan municipalities are making progress on approved projects under the Targeted Sector Support (TSS) initiative, which is aimed at building capacity, fostering good governance and encouraging inter-municipal co-operation.
"We are pleased to support municipalities across the province through our innovative Targeted Sector Support program," Government Relations Minister Don McMorris said. "It is wonderful to see municipalities working together to advance projects that will serve their communities.”
The TSS program provides cost-shared grants, up to 75 per cent on eligible costs, to municipalities partnering to strengthen their core municipal responsibilities through projects focused on regional co-operation, capacity building and good governance.
Since 2020, 56 grants totaling over $1.9 million were approved by the TSS Steering Committee, which consists of representatives from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA), the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, the Saskatchewan Association of Northern Communities, and the Government of Saskatchewan.
Supporting Good Governance
One such grant was for the RM of Frenchman Butte, which received $13,000 to provide municipal governance training to elected officials in the RM, as well as officials from the following surrounding municipalities: Village of Paradise Hill, Town of St. Walburg, RM of Mervin and RM of Britannia.
"We hosted a three-part governance training shortly after the 2020 municipal elections last fall," RM of Frenchman Butte Reeve Tom Hougham said. "As a newly elected reeve myself, the timing of the training was perfect and helped prepare me for my role. Returning council and staff also shared how beneficial the training was for them. Ultimately, it has built on our existing strengths as municipal governments and will help maintain strong communities in our region."
Altogether, 17 participants from the five municipalities attended the training.
Promoting Regional Collaboration and Safety
As part of another TSS grant, the City of Meadow Lake received over $37,000 to conduct a regional fire and emergency services feasibility study with the neighbouring RM of Meadow Lake and Flying Dust First Nation.
"We hired consultants to determine the viability of developing regionalized fire and protective services," City of Meadow Lake Fire Chief Neil Marsh said. "The study included an in-depth analysis of the area, existing fire department, and needs and opportunities for improved services. All three local governments are currently reviewing the report to determine how we move forward. This was a valuable investment for encouraging mutual understanding and co-operation between our regional partners and for outlining opportunities to work together in the future."
Sharing Resources, Serving Residents
The Town of Willow Bunch received a TSS grant of more than $14,000 to support a combined asset management review and system update in collaboration with the RM of Willow Bunch.
"We hired a facilitator to review the town and RM's various assets and infrastructure and identify areas where we could potentially combine or share resources," Town of Willow Bunch Mayor Wayne Joyal said. "For example, the facilitator identified an opportunity to work together on a shared maintenance shop that the RM had already been planning to upgrade. With these funds, we've been able to improve our regional co-operation and collaboration, which will ultimately help us better serve all residents in the area."
The grant funds were also used to transition the town and RM's existing asset management systems into a fully-integrated software program that both municipalities can access to help with long-term management and administration.
The TSS was established following a review of the 2018-19 Municipal Revenue Sharing (MRS) Grant program, with input from the municipal sector. Each year, the TSS receives $1.5 million from MRS. Funds are administered by SUMA on behalf of the TSS Steering Committee.
Information about the next intake of grant applications will be posted online as it becomes available at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/funding-finances-and-asset-management/funding/targeted-sector-support-initiative.