By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
2017-2019 Operating Budget
Lethbridge County council, at a meeting held Dec. 15, passed the motion to approve the 2017 Operating Budget in the amount of $28,953,875 and that the 2018 and 2019 Operating Budgets in the amounts of $28,925,220 and $29,521,025 respectively be approved in principle.
According to a report submitted to council for consideration, approval of the 2017 Operating Budget will result in a net overall increase of 1.560 per cent in municipal property taxes, before growth and a 0.495 per cent increase after growth. Tax support revenue required for 2017 is $14,653,380. The total expenditures included in the 2017 Operating Budget are $28,953,875, the report stated.
2017-2019 Capital Budget
Lethbridge County council passed the motion to approve the 2017 Capital Budget in the amount of $13,125,080 and that the 2018 and 2019 Capital Budgets in the amounts of $10,574,600 and $7,604,600 be approved in principle.
According to the report submitted to council for consideration, approval of the 2017 Capital Budget will result in $13,125,080 worth of planned capital projects in 2017.
Utility Rate Bylaw 1486
According to a report submitted to Lethbridge County council at a meeting held Dec. 15, 2016 — currently fees and rates associated with water, wastewater and garbage services are included in the Schedule of Fees and are passed annually in March.
As part of the utility rate review through the budget process this past year, the report stated, it was determined it would be beneficial to have a separate bylaw specific to the utility rates.
Therefore, it was stated in the report, following the passing of the annual budget the utility rate bylaw could also be passed and the updated rates could potentially be effective as of Jan. 1 of each year to ensure the county is meeting its budget revenue projections within the Utility Department. The report also stated this would also align with the increased costs to the county associated with water and sewer, as the City of Lethbridge will also implement their rate increases as of Jan. 1.
A summary of the changes made to the Utility Rate Bylaw from the Schedule of Fees was presented in the report.
Changes stated in the report include an increase of five per cent to the rates throughout the bylaw, where required, as per the proposed 2017 budget.
Also, rates for both south and north county systems in regards to water charges and sewer service amended to one per cubic metre rate versus a formally split rate.
An addition of airport subdivision fees for both water and sewer services, as the Utility Department is now responsible for this area, was noted in the report to council.
Passing the bylaw with a Jan. 1 implementation date would allow for a full year of revenues at the new rates, as budgeted, it was stated in the report.
This would, in turn, assist with offsetting related costs and would bring the department closer to cost recovery in those areas, the report stated.
Council passed all three readings of Bylaw 1486 — Utility Rates.
City of Lethbridge — Alberta partnership support for 62 Avenue North (Scenic Drive North) to 43 Street North
According to a report submitted to Lethbridge County council, the City of Lethbridge has requested a letter of support from the county for their Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) funding application for the functional planning and design of 62 Avenue North in Lethbridge. The report stated it is for the preliminary design for Scenic Drive North from 26 Avenue North to Pavan Park Road North, as it is currently in progress.
This project, it was stated in the report, will complete a functional plan and design for the remaining part of the north-south/east/west corridor at the north city limits.
According to the report, this project will determine appropriate intersection locations for the Royal View Area Structure Plan (ASP), Sherring Industrial Lands, and county lands adjacent to this roadway. The project will also develop ultimate road Right Of Way (ROW) requirements, laning arrangements, and intersection configurations.
The current road carriageway of 62 Avenue North lies just outside the city limits and is designated as Township Road 94 within Lethbridge County.
There are no financial implications for the county, the report stated, but the total project is $400,000 and the city is applying for the maximum of $200,000 in funding under the ACP.
Council passed the motion to approve the request from the city for a letter of support for the ACP application for the Functional Planning and Design of 62 Avenue North, Lethbridge.
Shaughnessy Truck Route
Lethbridge County council passed the motion to receive a Shaughnessy Truck Route report for information and further that the Municipal Services Committee investigate the idea of a roadside parking bylaw for the entire county.
According to the report submitted to council for consideration, at a November 2016 meeting administration was requested to investigate the Shaughnessy truck route that extends from Highway 25 to Cadillac Street, along Shields Street.
It was stated in the report county administration was unable to determine whether or not Shields Street was ever officially designated a truck route.
Therefore, the report stated, the signs should be removed and this road should be treated as any other roadway in county hamlets that have no other official designation.
Sign removal and road realignment, the report stated, will be covered under operations in the 2017 Road Maintenance Budget.