The Town of Sylvan Lake hosted an open house event at the NexSource Centre on Jan. 31 to address residents’ concerns with the 2024 budget.
The open house comes after council passed the interim budget back in December with a 5.38 per cent tax increase for both residential and non-residential properties.
At the event around 50 residents came to attend, says Mayor Megan Hanson said.
“We had conversations with residents around the increased cost of living in all areas — we heard of specific concerns around properties in their neighbourhoods, a desire for both increased or decreased service levels and some interesting revenue generation ideas.”
The feedback from residents plays an important role in driving the budgeting process, she added.
“Our overall budget direction was chosen based on the feedback we received last summer prior to starting the budgeting process, and the continued feedback is what helps us make informed decisions along the way.”
All feedback received both in person and online is compiled and brought to council for consideration, Hanson says.
“This will come back before council later this spring for final consideration.”
Along with giving feedback, Sylvan Lake community members who attended the event were also able to view the highlights of the 2024 budget.
Highlights of the 2024 budget that were displayed at the event showed:
- A diagram of how the property taxes are used in the community
- An overview of potential impacts the budget may have
- A graph showing how inflation has impacted the cost of living
- A graph detailing and comparing operating budget expenses and capital project expenses over the last four years
- Potential ways to find revenue
- Responses given from the 2024 resident priority survey
Residents with questions or concerns regarding the budgeting process or specific items in the budget are encouraged to connect with the Town via the Engage Sylvan Lake website. (engage.sylvanlake.ca)
The budget will return for council review during the March 25 town council meeting.