By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
During their regular Nov. 26 meeting, Coaldale town council reviewed the operating budget for 2019-2021.
A municipality’s operating budget is a detailed estimate of how much money it requires in order to meet ongoing financial obligations, such as providing programs and services to its residents.
Presenting the operating budget to council, Kyle Beauchamp, director of cooperate services, said the budget totaled $19.6 million.
Some of the highlights of the operating budget include:
– No tax increases to the municipal portion of the mill rate for residential properties for 2019 and 2020, with a re-examination in 2021, and a four per cent tax increase to the municipal portion of the mill rate for non-residential properties in 2019, with a re-examination in 2020 and 2021;
“With a four per cent increase in non-residential taxes, we believe we still have a very competitive, non-residential mill-rate,” said Beauchamp, adding that following council’s direction, an annual recreation levy of $120 per year for all residential properties/dwellings would to be added to residents’ tax bill.
– Sewer relining program – $200,000 (2019, 2020);
– Installation of 27 new street lights to remedy “dark spots” in Coaldale – $298,000 (2019);
– Development of Infrastructure Master Plan, Municipal Development Plan, various area structure plans and a review of the Offsite Levies Bylaw – $200,000 (2019, 2020);
– Reconstruction of 15 alleys – $150,000 (2019, 2020);
– Water valve replacement program – $60,000 (2019, 2020, 2021);
– 100th Anniversary of the Town of Coaldale – $50,000 (2019);
– Municipal census – $25,000 (2019);
– Additional RCMP member (approved in 2018) – $175,000 (Full time, permanent in 2019);
– Annual partnership with Gem of the West Museum Society – $30,000 (starting in 2019);
– Continuation of a Handi-Ride type service in Coaldale (ongoing);
– Service-hour enhancements for Coaldale Public Library – $42,000;
Overall, the $19.6 operating budget will be split between the following categories: 14 per cent to protective services; 13 per cent to roads and equipment; 11 per cent corporate services; 10 per cent planning and development; 10 per cent parks and recreation; eight per cent water, seven per cent sewer; seven per cent fire services; six per cent solid waste; five per cent facilities; three per cent infrastructure and engineering; three per cent community services; three per cent culture services; and one per cent council.
Fnding for the operating budget will come from: 42 per cent property taxes; 23 percent utility user rates; 11 percent user fees and charges; six per cent land sales; six per cent funding from reserves; four per cent capital grants; three per cent franchise fees; two per cent recreation levy; two per cent investment income; and one per cent fines and penalties.
Council unanimously passed a motion to approve the 2019-2021 operating budget as presented.