Sustainable, long term provincial funding for municipalities has long been a thorn in the side for smaller centres in Alberta.

And it's no exception going into the New Year as the Province is winding down the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, or MSI funding in 2022 and haven't worked out a replacement yet.

High River Mayor Craig Snodgrass says it makes it tough to plan for down the road.

"No answers right now as to what we're going to see or whether they're going to deal with it before they're done or calling an early election, or what's happening. It's definitely up in the air. It exists there now, we have the funding. But, it does come to an end next year and without any answers right now it's a little nerve wracking."

Snodgrass says a lot of what's going to happen depends on who wins the provincial election in the spring.

In the meantime, Snodgrass says flood mitigation is pretty much done for High River proclaiming the the town is now the most protected community in all of Canada.

Snodgrass says, even though they haven't started work on the Southwest berm yet, High River is in great shape if we see another flood.

"We just finished running numbers, flood scenarios. Up to 3000 cm/s, and we're protected. We're the most well protected community in Canada, period. Challenge me on that statement all you want. And I get challenged on it both internally and externally. Bring it on!"

Snodgrass says they hope to see construction on the berm start in the Spring of 2019, but says it's up to the Province to approve the project first.

He also says 2019 will be the first year since 2013 where High River residents won't have to get creative in how they get around town dodging construction.

Snodgrass says we've earned a break.

"High River needs a bit of a breather from construction for a summer too. There's always projects. You can't go to sleep on that stuff. My God, we've been through hell and back with construction for five years now. I think it's time to just take a bit of a "chill pill" in this town and have a good 2019."

Snodgrass says even if construction begins on the Southwest berm in 2019, it shouldn't affect traffic in the short term along 12th Avenue West.

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