$40.9 million allocated to road improvements and maintenance
The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved an $82,831,015 interim balanced budget (not including school and lodge requisitions) at its Wednesday meeting.
M.D. Council will pass the final 2016 budget in the spring, once the provincial government releases its Education Requisition. For interim budget purposes, tax estimates are based on the 2015 assessment. The 2016 estimated expenditures are funded by $65.19 million in Taxes; $5.73 million in Government Grants; $8.65 million from General Revenues such as fees and partnership dollars and $3.26 million in transfers from surplus (reserve funds from carried over projects and funds remaining from previous years’ budgets).
“Road improvements and maintenance remain the highest priority for Council,” says Reeve Ed Rondeau. “In 2016 Council will capitalize on our own staff to carry out a lot of the road work. Council also allocates funds to improve the quality of life for our residents. Council has continued its commitment towards regional cooperation and has dedicated funds for neighbouring urban municipalities and organizations that provide services to M.D. residents.”
Council has allocated $26.3 million for Road Improvements/Construction, $14.6 million for Gravel/Oil Road Maintenance and $600,000 for Public Works Equipment in the interim budget. The Fourth Phase of the Ardmore Street Improvement Project tallies up to $3 million. The paving of the Crane Lake Road is projected to cost $4 million.
The 2016 budget includes a variety of projects that provide services to our residents, Rondeau said. A new Public Safety Office will be completed on the Public Works site outside of Bonnyville for a total cost of $2.8 million, with $700,000 coming from the 2016 budget. Council will continue to fund the Senior’s Transportation Grant for $60,000. The Community Halls and Societies will receive Annual Operating Grants at a cost of $600,000. Regional projects such as Landfill Operations come in at $2.5 million, the Bonnyville Centennial Centre at $1.1 million and the Regional Community Development Agreement Grant for the Town of Bonnyville and the Village of Glendon at $929,426 and $136,657 respectively. These all serve the needs of M.D. ratepayers and urban residents. Council has also budgeted $20,000 each for the Glendon, Bonnyville and Cold Lake Agricultural Societies. The Cold Lake and Bonnyville Museums each receive $17,500.
Rondeau said the M.D. continues to be a good regional citizen by providing funding support for the Beaver River Regional Waste Management Commission, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, Bonnyville and District Family and Community Support Services and Cold Lake and District FCSS, as well as the libraries in Cold Lake and Bonnyville. “Council is committed to supporting the Regional Community Development Agreement as well as cost-sharing agreements for fire, ambulance, libraries, FCSS, airport and Part 9 Companies because these entities provide services to the residents of the whole region.”
Council will take a second look at the budget in early 2016, once the year-end is complete and assessment figures from the province are tallied.
*Press Release from the Municipal District of Bonnyville