Small tax increase approved for 2020
Sturgeon County budget adopted with 5-2 Vote
Sturgeon County, AB - During the regular Council meeting on December 10, Sturgeon County Council passed the 2020 Budget with a 1.18 per cent increase.
Council approved an operating budget of $59,054,646 and a capital budget of $24,238,300. The overall effect to the average homeowner with an assessed property value of $464,140 is projected to be $20 annually.
Council reviewed and analyzed the operating and capital submissions from Administration in early October and the budget was deliberated by Council over 1.5 days in late November. Planning and deliberations were more complicated this year due to the late provincial budget announcement and uncertainty around rural policing.
“Council initially planned to move forward with a zero per cent increase, but the recent policing costs announcement has left us with a large expense of $586K and less than five months to prepare for, resulting in a 1.18 per cent increase.” said Mayor, Alanna Hnatiw.
The approved 2020 Operating and Capital Budget is lean due the regional economic situation and based on the information the County has today; the budget applies the financial resources to move the County forward.
“I am disappointed that we couldn’t hold the line at zero per cent. Given the current economic situation, it’s necessary that we lessen financial burden. Our residents have been clear on their level of frustration where rural crime is concerned. I hope the province and the RCMP can deliver on this in a manner that matches the need.” said Hnatiw.
The 2020 budget maintains the core services to Sturgeon County residents, and addresses investments in infrastructure with a strong emphasis on public safety.
Council committed to a full-scale drainage review of the current state of drainage issues in Sturgeon Valley subdivisions and an addition of four (FTE’s) to build capacity across the organization. Prioritizing infrastructure remains as one of Council’s top priorities and 2020 includes continued planning for investments in priority areas such as roads, bridges and drainage.
The final municipal tax rate will be approved in the spring of 2020. Residents will see amounts included for education and seniors housing regulated by the province.
Utility fees for water and wastewater management will increase by approximately $95 per year for the average residential utility customer in 2020.
The 2020 Operating/Capital Budget document will be available online in early January.