Council Notes - April 21st, 2020
Revised Capital Budget. Council has approved the 2020 Revised Capital Budget. The capital plans includes $1.2 million for road rehab projects, as well as money for new landfill cells, work at Vision Park, upgrades at the snow dump, pedestrian crossing lights, and other projects. A full list will be posted at edson.ca/budget in early May.
2020 Emergency Operating Budget. As we go through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become necessary to revise the budget to meet the new realities and challenges the Town of Edson now faces. The operating budget is being prepared with an equivalent of a 5% tax decrease from the 2020 budget passed in December. The actual mill rate and where the tax decrease will be applied will be discussed at next week’s Committee of the Whole Meeting.
In the emergency budget, approximately $1.8 million was removed. This will be used to administer the tax reduction mentioned above, as well as set up a reserve for future economic recovery strategies. The reserve will also act as a buffer in the event of possible tax defaults in 2020.
The savings do not come without some sacrifices and service disruptions.
- All Management and Union staff down to a 0.9 work schedule –savings of 10% of salaries and wages.
- Other staff position adjustments e.g. staff on maternity leave, no hiring of summer students, vacant positions not filled.
- Layoff of 18 staff due to closure of facilities.
- Overtime limited to emergency situations only.
- Professional Development budgets decreased significantly.
- Staff Wellness Program removed for the remainder of the 2020.
- Staff Development Budgets reduced.
- Conference Registrations and Travel and Expenses reduced.
- Insurance increases for 2020 (added ~$25,000).
- Reserve transfers suspended for 2020 –$100,000 Public Safety Initiative and $360,000 Energy Reserve.
- Council Chambers remodel removed.
- Computer Replacement Program put on hold.
- Reduced Promotional Spending.
Community & Protective Services
- Net reduction in Fines Revenue (added ~$230,000).
- Reduced Fire Training temporarily.
- Bylaw COP 1 staffing delayed.
- Increase to Disaster budget for Covid-19 related expenses (added $50,000).
- Rec and Culture programming cancelled for April-June.
- Canada Day cancelled.
- Eddies Big Run cancelled.
- Mowing reduced by ~50%.
- Weeding reduced by ~75%.
- No flowers.
- Repsol Place temporarily closed –no pool.
- Library Funding reduction due to closure
Infrastructure & Planning
- Land Use Bylaw external support services removed.
- Aerial photo for Munisight Map removed.
- Water and Sewer Break Contingency removed (use reserves if needed).
- Private Sewer Camera work removed.
- Airport –Less weeding, tree topping, and fence repair.
- Landfill – no summer hours implemented for 2020 and reduced operating days (select Tuesdays closed).
- Increase to Recycling ~$60,000.
- Roads – no dust control, Line Painting (exception - crosswalks).
- Snow Removal –minimal contracted services, will have noticeable impact to snow removal.
Quarterly Report. The 2020 March Quarterly Report was accepted as presented.
Next meetings - The next Committee of the Whole Meeting is scheduled for April 28th, 2020 at 7:00 pm in Council Chambers. The next Council Meeting is scheduled for May 5th, 2020 at 7:00 pm
*Please note that Council Meetings will be closed to the public until further notice. Residents are encouraged to review agendas prior to the meeting and submit any questions/concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings will be live streamed at www.edson.ca/live and through the Town of Edson YouTube Channel.