By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The 2019 Interim Capital and Operating Budget for Picture Butte has been approved.
Picture Butte town council approved the operating budget as presented during their regular Dec. 10 meeting. After an in-camera session and discussion, council approved the 2019-2021 capital budget.
“It is based on a two per cent increase to the total tax revenue, that’s what we shoot for every year, and then we hope that assessment increases more then that two per cent and tax rates will go down,” said Patrick Lyster, director of corporate services for the town. “But that base line is what we shoot for every year and that’s why we’ve been able to keep taxes as steady as we have.”
The town expects $3,564,092 worth of revenue coming in and $3,564,092 worth of expenses, creating a balanced budget. Lyster says they’re expecting about $500,000 of provincial requisitions, in addition to municipal taxes. The budget will be confirmed once they received the mill rate from the province.
“It’s important to note that this is the internal budget. This is very much a rough draft. It gives us a little bit of guidance for the first few months of the year, until we get more concrete numbers from the province on our capital funding and things like this,” said Lyster. “This is subject to change. We hope it’s pretty close.”
Some of the items in the interim budget include $1,974,420.12 in revenue and $495,075 in requisitions for taxes.
Under Fire and Disaster, the town has budgeted $149,689.99 in revenue and $302,650 in expenses. They expect to receive $149,189.99 in revenue for County Protection Fire Services, and spend $5,000 in building repair and maintenance, $13,000 in vehicle repair and maintenance, $2,000 in fire prevention and community promotions and $70,000 in administration officer wages for a new director of emergency services, a new line item added in this year’s budget.
The town expects to receive $2,500 in revenue from bylaw fines, and will spend $72,000 in bylaw enforcement wages, as they continue with the regional CPO program. $50 has been earmarked to be spent on dog food or treats.
Street expenses are expected to cost $249,600. In that, $50,000 is for snow removal — up from $33,000 in the 2018 budget — and $5,000 is for Factory Drive line painting and crosswalk and curbs.
As the new community pool is under construction, the town expects to receive no revenue for it, although they will revisit it when they discuss the finalized budget in the spring. However, council amended the budget and approved $200,000 to construct a parking lot for the new pool.
The town expects to receive $198,000 in revenue in sewer fees from commercial and residential properties. $15,000 has been put aside for sewer line repairs, and council also earmarked an additional $640,000 as an amendment to the budget for phase one of a sanitary sewer main upgrade.