BUDGET CONSULTATION - Councillors Don Gullekson and Cora Hoekstra were at the Community Market on July 4th, 2018 to discuss the upcoming City Budget with residents. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Council consults with Lacombe residents on budget

Lower taxes and maintained services early priorities for Lacombians

The City of Lacombe is encouraging residents to take part in their budget process.

An online survey, located on lacombe.ca, is now available and asks residents to provide input into what they would like to see provided from the City.

Lower taxes and improved services are what the City has heard so far, according to City Councillor Don Gullekson.

“We have heard from citizens all along that they would like to see lower taxes and maintain services, which is not always possible,” he said. “If you are going to lower taxes, you will have to lose something.”

Despite the struggle to balance taxation and services, Gullekson said the current Council is committed to only having tax increases equal to inflation — which is one of the messages Council has been sharing at their public consultations at both the Community Markets on Wednesday and the Farmers’ Market on Fridays.

“What we would like the citizens of Lacombe to do is review that and give us some input on what they would like us to do as Council to maintain our taxes as low as possible while also maintaining services,” Gullekson said “It will be a difficult task and we would like public input so we can react to their needs.”

Public consultation has been a key priority for this Council, according to Gullekson.

“This Council feels it is very important and it is one of the things we emphasized during the election,” he said. “We wanted to hear from the people and listen to what they have to say. This is one way we can do that regarding the budget.”

Council is also providing paper copies of the survey at each consultation, which will continue for the next six to eight weeks.

“We are out a little bit earlier this year, so it gives them an opportunity to give some input before the budget is set,” Gullekson said.

He added, “I would like the public to get engaged with this process. I think it is important for them to give us their input so we can react to what they are saying.”

You can take the survey by clicking here.

todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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