A budget is a municipality’s operating guidebook, allocating how resources are used to provide services throughout the year.
Peace River’s 2018 Operating and Capital budget was passed during Town Council’s regular meeting on Monday, March 26, 2018.
“Maintaining quality services at the lowest possible cost while balancing fiscal responsibility and sustainability, was the key priority for this Council,” said Mayor Tom Tarpey. “With this budget, services will be maintained or enhanced and the Town will continue to invest in our infrastructure.”
Revenue needs increased from 2017 by $302,750 or 2.8%. As a result, ratepayers should expect to see, on average, tax bill increases of around 2.4%. At that amount, a home valued at $300,000 would pay approximately $5.20 more per month in property taxes. This does not factor in new construction, improvements made to properties or market-value changes property sales etc.
Key Points – Operating
Along with maintaining existing services, new or improved initiatives include:
- an additional $15,000 for the downtown beautification program,
- reallocating existing staffing complements to approve a Safety Officer position supporting all town departments,
- $8,500 to assist in developing an aboriginal outreach strategy,
- resources to pursue operational and capital funding opportunities,
- funds for an intern Archives Assistant, and
- funds totalling $25,000 for new recreation billing software, to be ready for the opening of the Peace Regional Recreation Centre.
Key Points – Capital
Infrastructure, specifically the maintenance and upgrades were a high priority for the Capital Budget.
- 26 Projects will go ahead this year.
- $2,290,000 for the 2018 edition of the Neighbourhood Infrastructure Renewal Program with work commencing a four-year-long project to renew infrastructure in the South End
- $462,000 to start replacing the Saddleback playground,
- $2,966,700 in water and sewer projects including lift station replacements, sewer treatment plant upgrades and starting the replacement of Reservoir 365.
During budget deliberations, four meetings were held in 2018 to allow residents the opportunity to bring the budgetary concerns directly to Council. Additionally an online form was made available to allow residents to write in, all feedback received was taken to Council for consideration.