Wednesday , 4 August 2021

Bonnyville passes “status quo” 2019 budget

The Town of Bonnyville passed their interim budgets for the 2019 year.

The budget is balanced with no tax increase. There will be a slight 2.2 per cent increase in utilities, and a 8.33 per cent increase in the bulk water rates.

Combined, these changes would generate $67,454 in revenue.

The utility rates would go up by 27 cents a month, and the bulk water rates would be 50 cents.

Mayor Gene Sobolewski says the decision-making was easier with the amount of feedback from the public, but there is little extravagance on this year’s budget sheet.

“We’re vey grateful that the public participated as much as they did in the budget process,” said Sobolewski.

“From my perspective it’s more of a status quo budget, so services being maintained and not a lot of extravagance. But there are some key projects moving forward. We’ve got the library relocation, we’ve allocated funds for that in the capital budget, but mostly it’s a stand fast.

“It’s a recognition that there are some hard times. Some of the businesses aren’t doing as well. There’s impacts on residential homeowners, so I’m very proud that council has chosen to basically not engage in any increase and tow the line, and hopefully that doesn’t get us into trouble in future years,” said Sobolewski.

2019 Interim Capital Budget notes

Administration expects just over $1.4 million in grant funding from the province, $3.8 million from the ID349 agreement, and $1.8 million from the M.D. of Bonnyville’s Regional Community Development Grant and Inter-Municipal Cooperation Program.

Airport expenses have been increased by $300,000 for Phase I of the Airport Redevelopment Plan.

The town’s pool capital expenses have been reduced by almost $670,000 to wait for the results of the aquatic study, budgeted at $30,000.

The curling club’s expenses for a plant replacement has been eliminated, but a new compressor has been added for $30,000.

They’ve also put aside $30,000 to include a fine arts feasibility study from their culture capital expenses, although no motion has passed for a study.

The town’s share of the Waterline project carry over costs has reduced by $1.2 million.

The interim capital budget includes a $3 million debenture (loan) if needed. The town proposed to borrow only the amount required by the end of the year.

2019 Interim Operational Budget notes

The community peace officer set to be hired next year will be funded $100,000 from the RCMP operating reserve.

The RCMP contract has increased by $50,000 for the addition of an extra RCMP member.

Just under $300,000 was transferred from the general operating reserve to balance the 2019 interim operating budget.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.