(BLACK PRESS file photo)

(BLACK PRESS file photo)

1.4% tax increase included in Lacombe budget draft

Average household to see $5.25/month increase from tax rate/utilities rate changes

The City of Lacombe presented an early draft of the 2020 Budget for council’s consideration that keeps municipal tax increases below the consumer price index (CPI) — which was one of council’s objectives upon being elected.

“We are really happy to present a budget that meets all of council’s policies and continues the service levels that residents have come to expect in the city of Lacombe,” Chief Administrative Officer Matthew Goudy said.

Currently, the CPI is at 1.9 per cent, with administration proposing a 1.4 per cent increase — although this budget presented does not include any requested increased funding from community groups who met with council last week.

Overall —including utility rates and the tax increases — Lacombe residents can expect to pay an additional $5.25 per household, per month.

Included changes in the operating budget are new Automated Traffic Enforcement cameras, support for the new Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, changes to the online permitting access and the discontinuation of the BOLT transportation system.

Included in the capital budget is $11.7 million worth of projects — including $5 million budgeted for a new city public works building. These projects will be funded by $3.64 million from grants, $2.35 million from reserve withdrawals, $5.51 million from debt and $170,000 from other sources.

The public works building is part of the City’s 10-year capital plan and is being developed due to advantageous costs in the real estate and construction industries.

“Right now there is an opportunity with real estate prices and commercial construction that the city could participate with local contractors to get great value and hopefully stimulate the local economy,” Goudy said.

Goudy said administration was able to meet council’s goal of CPI or less due to the reduction of the BOLT bus service and said the city is in a good position, especially considering potential municipal cuts from the Province of Alberta.

Goudy said indications the city from the province, and Premier Jason Kenney in particular are that cuts will not be as severe as 1993, when municipal budgets were slashed by 25 per cent. Regardless, Goudy said the city has budgeted for the worst.

“We have predicted a 25 reduction in our MSI (Municipal Sustainable Initiative) going forward within the current budget,” he said.

Goudy said the city continues to advocate through AUMA for a predictable funding model

“We get that times are tough and we fully expecting some belt-tightening, but to just have predictability would have value for us which would allow us to absorb the reduction,” he said.

The city is currently expected by the province to budget for at least five years, something Goudy said they would expect from the Province as well.

Going forward, Council will deliberate on the Budget on Oct. 28 and 29, and perhaps the evening of Oct. 30 if needed. Council already held Budget Consultation early this year and will not host a post-budget consultation due to them being poorly attended in the past.

“If there are changes, I’m sure council will want to consult with the public some more,” he said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta joins Ontario in lowering minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in this country

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read