By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Picture Butte town council has passed their interim capital and operating budgets.
During their regular Dec. 14, 2020 council meeting, Picture Butte town council reviewed the proposed threeyear operating budget for 2021-2023 and the five-year capital budget for 2021-2025. Budget deliberations had previously taken place in November 2020.
Changes to the budgets include some operating department changes — which council accepted as presented — and changes for the town’s Emergency Services, which include moving from 2.5 staff members to three, due the changes AHS is implementing in January on how the municipality can run their ambulance. And the staffing change would help reduce the pressure the AHS change would have on the department’s volunteers.
Additionally, the municipal enforcement officer change was previously discussed at an October 2020 Council of the Whole meeting. Council had accepted any other changes presented and staffing was discussed incamera, as per FOIP Act Div. 2 Section 19, and accepted.
The Capital Budget presented was based on historical capital priorities and spending plans, as set by council. Council requested the town moves the Fire Hall expansion from 2021 to 2022, and administration remove any of the budget items not accepted due to changes in priorities or lack of funding.
At the time of the interim budget presentations, it was unknown what the provincial requisitions will be or how COVID-19 will affect ratepayers and the municipality.
The budgets will be finalized in the spring, when the province provides the town’s mil lrate.
Council passed a motion to change the proposed tax revenue increase to zero per cent for the Interim Operating Budget as of now, to be reviewed once provincial requisitions are acquired. They requested administration brings back ideas on how to make this possible, so it could change in the upcoming months.