Town Council approved the 2021 Operating and Capital Budget at its February 22, 2021 council meeting.
Similar to prior years, during priority workshops Council has collectively identified key priorities to target during their term:
- manage the tax burden to property owners,
- improve efficiencies within the organization and continue and strengthen existing partnerships,
- improve recreation service delivery and infrastructure, and
- build capacity for operating and capital programs within the budget.
In addition to these, Council indicated that because of COVID, tax rate impacts or changes were to be minimized as much as possible.
Aware of the challenges faced by ratepayers in 2021 due to the pandemic, the approved budget generally maintains existing services and standards without significant increases in required tax revenues – only a $26,790 increase to $11,668,260 from the 2020 amount of $11,641,470, or 0.2%. This means that subject to prevailing property assessments, the tax rate should be similar to the 2020 rate.
This was achieved by identifying savings (COVID or otherwise) within existing budgets, deferring service initiatives and applying some temporary Provincial funding towards the Town budget. These were offset by typical inflationary pressures and a planned reduction in Provincial funds of $220,000 in 2021.
2021 Capital Budget
The Approved 2021 Capital Program includes 18 projects totalling $5.82 million.
The approved capital budget and funding of the projects have been fully incorporated into the 2020 operating budget.
Water and wastewater operations provide for furnishing water and sanitary sewage disposal services to industrial, commercial and residential areas within the town and some surrounding areas.
For 2021, Council will consider a rate increase of 52 cents per cubic meter or 8.6% on existing rates, with the Utility Rate Bylaw expected before Council in March 2021. This increase is required to fund required water and wastewater operating (staffing, utility and maintenance) costs and capital projects in 2021 and beyond, as the Town struggles to maintain its ageing infrastructure.
View the Complete Operating & Capital Budget
Questions about the proposed budget or process can be directed to Greg Towne Director of Corporate Services at [email protected] or (780) 624-2574 ext. 1018.