(BLACK PRESS file photo)

(BLACK PRESS file photo)

Lacombe County adopts 2021 interim Capital and Operating budgets

County Council adopted both budgets unanimously on Nov. 27

Lacombe County Council adopted the 2021 Operating and Capital budgets unanimously in council at the end of November.

With the difficult financial year both budgets reflect the current economic situation in the province. It follows the priorities set out in the county’s Strategic Plan, Long-range Road Construction Plan and Capital Equipment Plan.

“Over the last few years, Lacombe County has faced many unique challenges facing our economy, including a significant loss in revenue from oil and gas well taxes and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tim Timmons, County Manager.

The Operating Budget serves to help support the maintenance of existing service levels and the Capital Budget works to also manage the county’ spending.

Interim budgets are approved annually near the end of every year as part of the first stage of planning for spending on projects in the next year. The last stage happens in the spring when the final budget is approved that outlines the final budgets and tax rates. In order for the last stage to happen the province needs to set the property tax levy and confirm the property assessment values.

The proposed 2021 operating budget is balanced and will maintain the existing service levels. The $55.307 million budget has yet to be finalized because the county is waiting on the province to confirm regulated industrial assessments and rural policing costs.

The budget includes an allowance for the proposed assessment reductions for oil and gas assessments of $180,000 as well as the elimination of the Well Drilling Tax.

In order to offset some revenue changes upcoming vacancies with Lacombe County will not be filled and are planned on staying vacant until the end of next year. The county has said these vacancies will not impact ratepayers in a negative way. In addition, the 2021 Operating Budget does not contain a municipal tax increase.

The 2021 Capital Budget is $18.636 million, which is a decrease of $14.91 million or 44.45 per cent compared to 2020.

The Capital Budget included a decrease of $4.3 million in road projects, an increase in bridge projects including both replacements and engineering and a decrease of $2,514.570 in vehicle and equipment replacements.

Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law noted that the $6 million of the budgeted $18.636 million is sourced from funds that have been set aside in previous years through capital replacement plans.

“By using our capital reserves, funds from equipment trade-ins and capital grants, we can ensure that we are moving forward with crucial projects that will keep Lacombe County moving in a positive direction,” said Law.

With another potentially uncertain year ahead county council made sure to balance current needs with future growth.

“There are many challenges facing our municipality and council feels this budget will balance the reality of the many uncertainties facing Lacombe County, without negatively impacting our ratepayers,” said Law.

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

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Dean Olsen Missing Poster
Blackfalds RCMP seek public assistance to locate missing male

Dean Olsen was last seen on Jan. 20 in Red Deer County

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read