The Citizen Budget tool takes residents through a simulated budget, provides information, and allows taxpayers to indicate their preferred allocation of funding. There is also opportunity to provide general feedback for each department. That information will then be compiled and presented to Council prior to final budget approval.
2021 Budget Workshop Recap
Edson, Alberta, October 19th, 2020 – Edson Town Council held their annual budget workshop on October 17th, 2020. Administration presented Council with departmental operational budget requests, a capital budget plan, reserve fund updates, and a number of optional items for review. Council is considering a plan with an approximate 2.5% tax increase from the ORIGINAL 2020 budget. In 2020 an emergency budget was put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce taxes for 2020 and set aside a fund to help in recovery. Some of that recovery money will be used to reduce the overall tax impact in 2021 so the increases required to get back to normal service levels don't come all at once.
Highlights of the proposed changes are listed below.
The Town strives to operate on a cost recovery model for utilities. Under this model, as operational costs change it becomes necessary to adjust the rate to ensure costs are recovered. The presented 2021 Budget proposes rate increases and the following table shows what this would look like:
Asset Management Plan Increase
Average Annual Increase (based on 20m3/month)
Storm Water Management Fee – Discussion was held regarding costs for storm water management. A proposal was put forward to move those costs from general taxation to utility bills as it is a utility of the Town of Edson. This is meant to be a cost neutral change, meaning any charge added to the utility bill would be moved out of general taxation.
Several capital projects were discussed for the 2021 budget including:
$1,200,000 towards starting a road re-capping project.
$1,900,000 in grant money towards storm water mitigation
$200,000 towards Vision Park Upgrades
$1,000,000 for a Degas Wellhouse and UV Upgrade.
$1,000,000 for a Sewer Outlet Pipe
$100,000 towards 40th Street (6th Ave to Hwy 748) Design
The proposed budget will use a 2.5% municipal tax increase over the original 2020 budget; however, individual tax levies will be dependent on property assessments.
This increase allows the Town to return to pre-Covid service levels and includes inflation and other expected increases beyond the Town's control.
This is a proposal only and both Administration and Council will continue to work on possible adjustments and recommendations prior to the finalization of the budget in December.
Residents will have a chance to have a say in the budget process through the budget engagement tool being launched at the end of the month. This will be available at www.edson.ca/budget.
The engagement tool will take residents through the budget, provide information, and allow taxpayers to indicate their preferred allocation of tax dollars. There is also opportunity to provide general feedback for each department. That information will then be compiled and presented to Council prior to final budget approval.
For the 2022 Budget this tool is anticipated to be launched earlier in the year to receive feedback prior to the budget workshop.
In the meantime, the 2021 Budget Workshop is available to view by following the links below.
The Budget will be adopted by Council in December 2020 and finalized in the Spring of 2021, as there are some items that are not known at this time. Here is an anticipated timeline for the passing of the Budget:
End of October/Early November 2019 – Council Public Engagement through an online Budget Engagement Tool
Late November, 2020 – Public Engagement Results Presented to Council and final budget deliberations.
Early December 2020 – 2020 Budget presented to Council for adoption
February 2021 – Assessment figures released to the Town
March/April 2021 – Requisition figures for Schools (AB Education) and Evergreens (Seniors Lodges) received
April 2021 – Revised Budget presented to Council.
May 2021 – Mill Rate Bylaw presented to Council, and tax notices sent to property owners.
2020 COVID-19 Emergency Budget - Mill Rates
Passed May 5th, 2020
Council has given three readings to the 2020 Mill Rate Bylaw. The Town of Edson’s overall taxable assessment has decreased by 2.6%. This is used to generate the taxation revenue and is what drives the mill rate calculations for Municipal taxes, School, and Evergreens Requisitions. In the Emergency Budget, Council decreased the amount of tax revenue to be collected by 5% from the original 2020 budget passed in December 2019. The 5% reduction has been split 20/80 between residential and non-residential respectively.
When taking into account the municipal mill rate, an increase in the Evergreens Foundation requisition, and a decrease in the Education requisition (due to an over levy for 2019 due to the delayed Provincial Budget), the COMBINED Mill Rates have gone down slightly for residential, and more substantially for non-residential.
The chart below provides a comparison of the 2019, 2020 (original), and 2020 (actual) combined tax levies per $100,000 in assessment. Individual tax notices will go out in mid-May.
Edson, Alberta, December 4th, 2019 – Council has approved the 2020 Capital and Operating Budgets with some minor changes to the Capital budget. The Budget uses the equivalent of a 3.97% municipal tax increase, down from the original proposal of 6.18%.
The 3.97% equivalent taxation increase will be funded 1.00% from taxation, and 2.97% though utility bills as the cost of recycling is transferred from taxation to utility bills. The actual taxes levied on an individual property will be dependent on their property assessment.
To achieve this reduction from the original proposal, the following changes have been implemented:
Election Reserve Contribution - Reduced from $11,000 to $5,000.
Capital Equipment Reserve Contribution - Reduced from $10,000 to $5,000
Planning Reserve Contributions - Both transfers have been removed from the budget ($35,000).
Recreation & Culture Reserve Contribution - Removed from budget ($2,000).
Operations Reserve for Landfill Operations - The Operations Operational Reserve will use $48,750 to offset the reduction in revenue due to the Landfill having reduced service for a major part of the year.
Interest Revenue Budget - Increased interest revenue by $50,000.
Policing Budget - Decreased by $100,000 as a reflection of actual costs based on average of previous years.
This budget was kept at a modest increase by reducing administrative costs, while maintaining services and increasing the commitment to future infrastructure needs.
The Capital Budget was approved with the addition of $750,000 towards the Vision Park Well & Washroom Project (funds from Infrastructure Reserve), and the removal of $50,000 for the Dog Park Project. The Capital budget also includes:
$350,000 for Stormwater Management
$645,000 for the Snow Dump
$400,000 for the design work to repair 1st Ave (48-54 Street)
$1,200,000 for a Road Recapping Program
$470,000 for a new Landfill Cell
$1,900,000 for the Vision park Well & Washroom Facility + $200,000 in general Vision Park Upgrades.
$5,000,000 ($2,500,000 Town of Edson, $2,500,000 Yellowhead County) towards the Multi-Use Facility Project.
The full list, as well as information on the budget process, public engagement results, and presentation budget document can be found online at www.edson.ca/budget.
The Town of Edson Council and Staff would like to thank everyone that took the time to participate in this process.