2020 Operating & Capital Budget Approved

Budget 2020

On this page:

Overview of Approved Budget
View the Complete 2020 Approved Budget
View the Budget Presentation to Council
Links to Previous Budgets

March 25, 2020

Overview of Approved Budget

After six budget deliberation sessions over the previous two months, Town of Peace River Council approved a $26.75 million operating budget and $7.69 million capital budget for 2020.

Based on the deliberations and direction of Council, service levels for programs and services have been maintained. Along with maintaining existing service levels and standards, new operating initiatives or enhancements were also approved by Council:

  • operating funds for the recently opened Baytex Energy Centre,
  • two seasonal labourer positions to assist in the activities of the public works department,
  • funding for a ladder truck for the Peace River Fire Department,
  • sponsorship funding for the Peace River and District Chamber of Commerce, and
  • maintaining funding for the Peace River Library.

The creation of the 2020 budget was made more difficult by Provincial budget cuts announced in the fall of 2019. Provincial cuts to the Town totaled nearly $270,000 for 2020 and include:

  • reduction in Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding totaling $162,000, with a similar reduction expected in 2021,
  • reduction in levies paid through grants in lieu of taxes program totaling $61,600, with similar reduction in 2021,
  • reduction in fine revenue of approximately $21,000, as the Province is retaining a greater portion of processing and other fees, and
  • employment grants reductions totaling $25,500.

Based on the approval of the Town’s operating budget, revenues from taxation on existing properties will have to increase by approximately $325,000 or 3.0% compared to last year.

“The $325,000 tax revenue increase is similar to the $270,000 in reductions from the Province,” stated Mayor Tom Tarpey. “If the Provincial cuts didn’t happen, we would have been able to pass a budget with virtually no tax rate changes to Town ratepayers. Unfortunately, this is another example of Provincial downloading, and the Town has had to pick up the difference.”

Although the operating budget has been approved, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic Town Council instructed Town staff to return with mitigation options prior to the Town’s 2020 Tax Rate Bylaw being approved. Staff will prepare information which may include the use of existing reserves, finding operational savings within the budget, or accessing potential programs being considered by the Provincial government (ie tax deferral programs) to ameliorate impacts to ratepayers during these current financial times.

“This may allow Council to consider extraordinary or one-time possibilities and incorporate these options prior to the approval of the upcoming 2020 Tax Rate Bylaw,” adds Tarpey. “I’m hopeful that these options will allow us to not have to increase the tax rate, but we will have to wait until the tax rate bylaw is approved in April.”

2020 Capital Budget

The Town approved 16 projects totaling $7,698,500 in the 2020 capital budget for the following projects:

Computer System & Hardware Replenishment ………………………….. $24,000
Front Line Fire Apparatus (Pumper Truck)…………………………….. $1,400,000
Fire Department – Decontamination equipment ………………………… $30,000
Fire Department – Commercial Washer/Extractor ………………………. $20,000
Neighbourhood Infrastructure Renewal Program …………………… $1,800,000
Operations Heavy Equipment – Front End Loader……………………… $270,000
Pavement Overlay Project …………………………………………………… $250,000
Sidewalk Replacement …………………………………………………………. $75,000
Facility Security System Upgrades …………………………………………… $36,000
Columbarium …………………………………………………………………….. $40,500
Town Hall Cladding Upgrades ………………………………………………….. $6,000
Tractor/Toolcat for Baytex Energy Centre…………………………………. $50,000
Sewer Lift Station 4 Improvements …………………………………………. $32,000
Shaftesbury Sewer Main – Ph 1 ………………………………………….. $3,240,000
Sewer Treatment Plant Aeration Tank Cleaning ……………………….. $375,000
Water Meter Read Communications/Radio System…………………….. $50,000

“The ladder truck for the fire department prompted lots of passionate discussion around the Council table,” shares Tarpey. “While it costs more than the truck we’re replacing, our next major truck purchase isn’t for another 15 years and we didn’t feel like we could wait that long to purchase this important piece of equipment.”

The approved capital budget and funding of the projects have been fully incorporated into the 2020 operating budget.

Water Rates

Water and wastewater operations provides for furnishing water and sanitary sewage disposal services to industrial, commercial and residential areas within the town and some surrounding areas.

For 2020, Council will consider a rate increase of 68 cents per cubic meter or 12.6% on existing rates, with the 2020 Utility Rate Bylaw expected before Council in April 2020. This increase is required to fund required water and wastewater operating (staffing, utility and maintenance) costs and capital projects in 2020 and beyond.

View the Complete 2020 Approved Budget

Tap or click the image to view the complete 2020 Approved Budget.

Budget Presentation to Council

In January when the draft budget was initially presentetd to Council staff provide a contextual update regarding the budget situation. That presentation is available to view at the link below.

Budgets from previous years

Budget 2019

Budget 2018

Budget 2017