Over the last two months, Council has met and deliberated on the 2019 Operating and Capital Budget. Council discussed the budget at their November 13th, November 19th, November 22nd, December 3rd and December 10th meetings. The budget was approved during Council’s meeting on January 14, 2019.
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.
The Proposed 2019 Operating and Capital Budget was presented to Council on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Details on the budget, including the comprehensive budget document, is available in PDF format by tapping or clicking the picture below.
Operating Budget Highlights
Based on the deliberations and direction of Council, service levels for existing programs and services have been maintained. Along with maintaining existing service levels and standards, new operating initiatives or enhancements were also approved by Council:
- $50,000 (over three years) to assist the Peace River Regional Women’s Shelter Society for their building expansion,
- $115,000 for Peace River 100th Anniversary celebrations and events,
- a public works labourer position to improve service delivery within the department,
- additional funding of $12,700 to support library operations,
- updated radios for the fire department, and
- funding for the operations of the Peace Regional Recreation Centre opening in 2019.
In addition to these new enhancements, Council also managed budget changes to existing or committed costs, such as debt payments for the 99th Street Slide, wage settlements with staff, utility rate increase and all other cost elements experienced by the Town.
Based on the deliberation results, taxation revenues need to be increased from 2018 by $296,350 or 2.9%. As a result, ratepayers should expect to see, on average, tax bill increases of around 2.9%. At that amount, a home valued at $325,000 would pay approximately $6.92 more per month in property taxes. This does not factor in new construction, improvements made to properties or market-value changes, property sales, etc.
Capital Budget Highlights
The capital budget is a long-term, multi-year plan that is updated and refined on an annual basis. This plan reflects the need to invest in our infrastructure as the Town grows and as assets age. The need to prepare long-term infrastructure renewal plans while at the same time plan for growth which is supported by prudent financial planning, is a major undertaking.
The 2018 Capital program includes 18 projects totaling $13.3 million.