Edson, Alberta, December 5th, 2018 – Council has approved the 2019 Capital and Operating Budgets as presented. The Budget uses a 3.9% municipal tax increase, down from the 4.5% proposed at the Budget workshop in early November. This means the amount of taxes collected by the Town for municipal purposes will increase by approximately $400,000, however, the actual taxes levied on an individual property will be dependent on their property assessment.
To achieve this reduction, the following changes from the Proposed budget are as follows:
- Salaries/Wages/Benefits: Decrease expense of $106,000. This was accomplished with a combination of the following:
- Salary adjustments,
- Decrease in benefit costs such as Life, Long Term Disability and Dental,
- Decrease in Employer LAPP Pension contribution rate,
- Removal of two summer students. (This may have minor service level implications.)
- Natural Gas Contract: Decrease expense of $34,000. The Town’s ENMAX contract was up for renewal and the contracted amount per gigajoule decreased.
- Public Works Contracted Services: Decrease expense of $20,000 (This may have minor service level implications)
- 911 Centre: Increase expense of $18,500. This equates to an approximate 12% increase from 2018. This is due to some wage adjustments at the County as well as requirements from the Province for staffing levels.
- Yellowhead County Cost Share: Decrease revenue of $34,000. After adjustments, there are amendments to the Cost-sharing amounts from the County.
The 3.9% increase includes 0.4% ($43,000) towards relieving parts of the budget that are currently being funded from areas other than taxation. Those areas include:
- $157,000 from the Medical Centre Rent
- $220,000 from the Revenue Sharing
- $485,500 from the Utility Rates
- $246,000 from Tax Stabilization Fund (Contingency)
While all of these areas will need to be addressed over time, Council has approved $43,000 to be used to reduce the pressure from the Medical Centre rent. This would mean that, for this year, the Town is only relying on $114,000 of this rent to offset taxes.
The Capital Budget was approved as presented. It includes $10,000,000 from reserves and a $10,000,000 debenture to go towards the new Multi Use Facility. The facility is currently budgeted at $40,000,000 and being cost shared 50/50 with Yellowhead County. The Capital Budget also includes about $6,500,000 for road rehab work, money for equipment and vehicle replacements, a server replacement, the breathing apparatus replacement program and $200,000 towards a Fire Department Training Structure joint project with Yellowhead County.
There have been only two changes to the Reserves:
- Very slight adjustment to the RSA reserve due to some changes in the Operating Budget
- The $43,000 mentioned above moved into the Multi-Plex Operating Reserve.
The 2019 budget document is available on our website at www.edson.ca/budget.