The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved the 2021 Budget and Business Plan at its meeting yesterday. The plan includes the balanced 2021 Budget of $150,223,069. The budget does not include provincial educational and lodge requisitions, which will come in the spring.
Despite a challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, and an anticipated revenue gap of about $1 million due to changes in the provincial assessment review model, it is Council’s intention to hold the Mill Rate steady for the 2021 tax year.
The 2021 Budget shows Council continuing with recreation and infrastructure priorities including:
- Installing a new chairlift at Kinosoo Ridge – $2.7 million
- Improving infrastructure (including bridge repairs, drainage projects and construction) and maintenance – $20.02 million
- Renovating the Kopala building to become the new home for the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (Station 5 Bonnyville, 911, EMS, Administration)
- Developing and constructing trails throughout the M.D.
- Continuing the expansion of the Cold Lake M.D. Campground
- Bonnyville Airport operations and updates
- Holding Residential mill rates constant with prior years’ mill rates
“The 2021 Budget is a forward-looking document for the M.D.,” says Reeve Greg Sawchuk. “It recognizes the current economic climate while providing long-term planning for recreation and infrastructure. The goal is to meet the priority needs of all our ratepayers and continue to be a leader in economic diversity to provide more opportunities in our region.”
In 2020, Council worked with the Infrastructure Services department to create a Roads Priority List and map. That, coupled with recent updates to the Roads Classification map, will help guide the future of road projects all of the way to 2025.
The 2021 Budget will see $7.4 million dedicated to paving and reconstruction of gravel roads, $1.55 million for subdivision roads, just over $4 million for bridge repairs and replacement and over $7 million for other projects, including drainage and flood mitigation.
Council will continue to fund the Seniors’ Transportation Grant at $30,000 and has created a fund of $675,000 to help community halls, community societies, seniors’ societies, and agricultural societies with capital and operating costs.
Keeping our regional relationships strong, the M.D. will continue to 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, the Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce, the Cold Lake Chamber of Commerce and the libraries in the two major urban communities.
The digital version of the 2021 Budget and Business Plan will be available on the M.D.’s website by the end of the year, with printed copies available in early 2021.