December 19, 2019 – At its Committee meeting yesterday, Council adopted the $144,749,498 balanced 2020 Budget.
The budget can be broken down into two segments – Operating, which covers the day-to-day business of keeping the M.D. running, including road maintenance, staffing costs, etc. ($87,235,345) and Capital ($57,514,153), which includes large-scale projects like road reconstruction, building construction, equipment purchases and more.
The budget will be funded by $76.5 million in taxation revenue, $47.2 million from reserves, $11 million in grants and $10 million from sales, user fees, and other contributions. That being said, this budget shows no increase to the mill rates. The mill rates will be reviewed again in February after assessments are finalized.
“We see the 2020 Budget as setting a new direction for the municipality,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk. “Council recognizes that there is always more work to be done to improve services and still find efficiencies.”
Sawchuk pointed out Infrastructure continues to be the highest priority. New Fire Halls are being built in Fort Kent and Ardmore in 2020. There will also be eight capital road projects undertaken by the Infrastructure Services Department with a price tag of just over $14 million. These projects will include bringing roads across the M.D. up to standard. Almost 21 kilometres of road have been earmarked for rip and relay projects in the new year. Three bridge structures are also on the list to be replaced at a cost of $2 million.
After the last few years of high water levels, the Infrastructure Services department will also be dedicating $6.7 million to eight drainage remediation projects in a number of areas including Birch Grove, Country Side and Country Lane Estates, Hillside, Willow Ridge, and more.
Parks, Recreation and Culture will be forging ahead with plans to expand Kinosoo Ridge into a year-round attraction with the construction of the long-awaited Adventure Park. Monies will also be put towards building covered outdoor rinks in Cherry Grove and Ardmore, bringing power into a few M.D.-owned campgrounds, baseball diamond upgrades and the creation of a Recreation Master Plan to help map out the future of recreation for M.D. residents.
The M.D. is committed to continuing its Intermunicipal Cooperation Program with our neighbouring municipalities, which sees $6 million split between the City of Cold Lake, The Town of Bonnyville and the Village of Glendon.
Continuing in the spirit of regional cooperation, Fire Protection Services will be funded to the tune of $5,246,976, preventative social services (including Family and Community Social Services) has a budget expenditure of $490,280, while $377,736 has been budgeted for Culture, Community Halls and Libraries.
Click here for a copy of the 2020 Budget.
A detailed budget document will be released online in the new year. Watch the M.D.’s website or Facebook for the release announcement.