2021 Budget Workshop Recap

2021 Budget Workshop Recap

Posted on October 19th, 2020

More budget info at www.edson.ca/budget

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.

Utility Rates

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: (chart best viewed in a web browser)

Utility 2020 Rate Operational Increase Asset Management Plan Increase 2021 Rate Average Annual Increase (based on 20m3/month)
Water 1.11 0.07 0.03 1.21 24.00
Sewer 1.26 0.05 0.07 1.38 28.80
Waste Collection 17.50 0.35   17.85 4.20
Recycling Residential 9.00 1.00   10.00 12.00
Recycling Non-Residential 15.00 2.00   17.00 24.00
Total Residential 28.87 1.47 0.10 30.44 69.00
Total Non-Residential 17.37 2.12 0.10 19.59 76.80
  • 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.

Capital

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

A full list can be found in the information package from the meeting at https://edson.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=392

Taxation

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.

Public Engagement

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.