Lacombe Council changed the 2020 tax rate increase from 0.9% to 1% (Lacombe Express File Photo)

Lacombe Council adjusts tax rate to 1% after provincial cuts to LPS, FCSS

Council also deferred the hiring of a asset manager for the City

The City of Lacombe was forced to raised their Operating Budget tax rate from 0.9 per cent to 1 per cent after provincial budget decisions left holes in the Lacombe Police Service and the Lacombe and District FCSS budgets.

Council was forced to raise the tax rate, along with: Deferring the hiring of an asset management coordinator; removing a $35,000 contribution to the Community Builder Fund; and cutting some administration fees associated with city training. The combined cuts and the tax rate increase made up for a $131,125 hole in the LPS budget and a $55,000 hole in FCSS’s budget, combining to equal $186,125.

Councillor Reuben Konnik, who proposed the original 0.9 per cent increase, expressed his frustration with the Government of Alberta.

“I am a little frustrated that we spent all this time and did all this work and then the provincial government in their wisdom decides they will change things up. That really throws a wrench into things,” he said.

Despite the change, Konnik said a 1 per cent increase, which is below the 1.4 per cent CPI rate, is still an okay increase to have. He hopes the province will not force further changes during spring budget amendments.

“Should they surprise us with anything else, which I sure hope they don’t, we will be in a position to handle it at that point,” he said.

Konnik was pleased council went with the decision to defer the hiring of an asset management coordinator for the city.

“We are doing a service level review of the organization as a whole. I would be interested to see which other communities have that position. I’m glad we deferred it and we will take a look next year to see what comes into play,” he said.

Mayor Grant Creasey said it can be slightly painful when the province imposed decisions on the city late in the budget process.

“I would have preferred that we didn’t have quite as many curve balls sent our way after already enduring a lengthy budgetary session, but we made the best of it and came up with some reasonable solutions,” Creasey said.

Creasey said these choices by the province has affected other municipalities as well and that the City’s service level review next year will help them make good choices in the future.

“I am pleased we are undergoing a number of reviews so that we can be confident we are providing the level of service that our residents expect at a cost they can afford and are willing to pay,” he said.

Creasey said it shouldn’t be surprising to people the province is making these cuts given their platform, but hopes for more transparency in the 2021 budget process.

Hopefully these types of surprises will not happen after the municipal budgetary process is initiated. It makes it more work than it needs to be for our administration,” he said.

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

Central Alberta crime spree ends with arrest in Erskine

Blackfalds and Stettler RCMP make arrest, assisted by Lacombe and Sylvan Lake

Premier Jason Kenney in Lacombe to introduce rural Internet

Shaw to provide 1g Internet to all AB residential customers

84 new cases of COVID-19 reported Friday

1,036 active cases across Alberta, 10,796 recovered cases

AB Infrastructure Minister announces $8,522,800 regional water transmission line

Funding is covered jointly by the province, Ottawa and benefiting municipalities

76 new cases of COVID-19 reported Thursday

Active cases at 1,036, 10,713 recovered cases

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

‘So sorry:’ Man pleads guilty for gas-and-dash death of Thorsby gas station owner

Mitchell Robert Sydlowski was charged with second-degree murder, but the 29-year old pleaded guilty to the lesser offence

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools receive grant from Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

WRPS has received $15,975 from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

Three people drown at Crescent Falls

Rocky Mountain House RCMP say the incident occurred Tuesday

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Most Read