February 20, 2019 – The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved a $116.8 million revised, interim, balanced budget (not including school and lodge requisitions) at its meeting on Wednesday.
The revised interim budget delivers Council priorities in the following areas:
• Recreational upgrades, new facilities and projects - $8.3 million
• Infrastructure improvements and maintenance - $18.2 million
• Supporting neighbouring communities - $9.7 million
• Water distribution improvements - $3 million
• Maintaining a property class for Small Business to reduce the tax burden
• Moving towards attaining the mandated 5:1 Non-Residential/Residential tax ratio
• Holding Residential mill rates constant with prior years’ mill rates
Reeve Greg Sawchuk says of this budget, “Council’s priority is to improve the quality of life for M.D. residents, maintain regional cooperation, build the region’s tourism potential and support our industry partners. To reach our goals, Council utilized $12 million in the form of transfers from surplus (reserve funds carried over from projects and funds remaining from previous years’ budgets) to balance the revised interim budget.”
Sawchuk says Council reset the direction in this budget in terms of road priorities. Council put an emphasis on improved road maintenance across the whole M.D. Road construction and paving is being done on high priority roadways. These roads include: $5.5 million for Wolf Lake Road; $3 million for Range Road 485 from Township Road 624 to Twp. Rd. 630; $1.2 million for Twp. Rd. 640 from Rge. Rd. 471 to Rge. Rd. 473; $1 million for Twp. Rd. 622 from Rge. Rd. 435 to Rge. Rd. 440; $1 million for the realignment of Rge. Rd. 415-415a, north of Twp. Rd. 615; $700,000 for Twp. Rd. 630 from the City of Cold Lake to Rge. Rd. 415 and $600,000 for the reconstruction of the Lessard Bridge.
The 2019 revised interim budget includes additional projects: $5 million for the Fort Kent Fire Hall and Ardmore Fire Hall/Grader Shop; $3.3 million for upgrades to Cold Lake M.D. Park; $2.4 million for Ardmore Improvement Phase 6; $1.9 million for the Kinosoo Ridge Adventure Park; $1.6 for the Vezeau Beach boat launch and campground upgrade; $1.4 million for the Cold Lake
to Bonnyville waterline; $800,000 for drainage improvements on Moose Lake and Crane Lake; $300,000 to provide power at Crane Lake East, Minnie Lake East and Chicken Hill Lake campgrounds; $300,000 to put in the North Shore Trail to connect the Moose Lake Trail to the Iron Horse Trail; $100,000 to develop a staging area at the Beaver River Trestle on the Iron Horse Trail; and $60,000 for the Bonnyville SPCA to provide services to the M.D.
The M.D. continues to cooperate with our urban neighbours, with $6 million set aside for the Inter Municipal Cooperation Program (IMCP). Allocations will be made in 2019 based on an equalized per capita assessment. Additional funds have been allocated to the following projects: $1.4 million to the Cold Lake RCMP building, $950,000 for the Cold Lake Bike Park, $500,000 each to the Bonnyville and Cold Lake Regional Airports and $500,000 previously allocated to the Glendon outdoor recreational facility.
Council will continue to fund the Seniors Transportation Grant at $60,000 and provide community halls and societies with $575,000 for capital and operating costs.
Continuing in the vein of cooperation, the M.D. will provide funding support for the Bonnyville and Cold Lake Museums, Beaver River Regional Waste Management Commission, Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) in Bonnyville and Cold Lake, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority and the libraries in the two major urban communities. The M.D. is also working with neighbouring municipalities to initiate joint programs to access the $6-million Intermunicipal Cooperation Fund through the ID 349 agreement.
M.D. Council will pass the final 2019 budget in the spring, after receiving the Education and Lakeland Lodge requisitions from the provincial government.