Sylvan Lake’s Town Council will implement the 2018 budget at it’s next council meeting on Dec. 8.
In the meantime, Council approved an interim budget of $5 million for the first week of January, in accordance with the Municipal Government Act requirements, which states a budget must be adopted for each calendar year.
In December Council held an open house at the NexSource Centre where the public was encouraged to attend and ask any question to council and staff about the proposed budget they may have.
While the turnout for the open house was lack lustre, council and town staff were able to meet with the public to answer questions about the budget.
A big issue with the budget it the proposed increases to the water rates. The increase in water rates help to keep the infrastructure self sufficient, while also paying for unexpected increases, according to Mayor Sean McIntyre.
The increases for the water rates will also be discussed and potentially passed at the next meeting of Council.
He said that not everyone will be happy with the budget as everyone will have a different area they will think is more important, and it is the job of council to find a budget that encompasses it all.
The 2018 budget is said to focus on core infrastructure and sustainability.
Council proposes a total operating budget of $34,500,766 for 2018. This budget includes a 1.97 per cent increase on residential and non-residential taxes.
The increase will generate an additional $278,960 for the operating budget in 2018.
The tax increase adds up to roughly a $42 increase on taxes. However, this does not include the Provincial Education Tax, which is announced in the spring each year.
The tax increase is actually less than previously forecasted. Council and staff had originally planned an increase of nearly three per cent for 2018.
Included with the operational budget, are various projects and plans. Main areas of interest in the operating budget are the Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan, $60,000, Storm Water Master Plan, $150,000, and the Lagoon Release,$2,500,000.
Looking at the $15,641,000 capital budget council has budgeted for projects such as; a new reservoir and pump station, $6,500,000, water and main replacement, $1,600,000, the reconstruction of 50 Avenue, 33 Street and 50 Street, $1,200,000, the intersection at Highway 20 and Erikson Drive, $960,000, as well as the Street Rehabilitation Program, $800,000.
More in depth information regarding the proposed 2018 budget is available online through the Town’s website, or a hard copy can be viewed at the library.
The 2018 budget will be finalized and implement at the Jan. 8 regular meeting of council, which begins at 6 p.m.