by Morinville News Staff
Sturgeon County Council unanimously approved their 2018 Operating and Capital Budget Dec. 19 with a .49 per cent increase they say addresses short- and long-term sustainability and allows investment in programs and community infrastructure.
The unanimous approval follows a series of pre-budget meetings and three days of budget deliberations.
“Administration did a good job meeting Council’s expectation to keep the budget increase to a minimum,” said Mayor Alanna Hnatiw in a media release Thursday. “With the current economy, it’s necessary that we reduce what we can, therefore Council voted to freeze salaries for Managers, Senior Managers and Council members.”
Council approved 19 Service Enhancements, including transportation, community services, and regional planning, areas they see as priorities.
An additional seven enhancements arose from budget information requests, including investments in Protective Services, including an additional Fire Fighter, additional library funding, and a one per cent allocation to drainage as has been done in previous budget cycles.
“We have a responsibility to residents and as residents, we need to be informed and participate in deciding where the money goes and how decisions are made,” Hnatiw said. “It is our job as Council to listen, ask questions and make tough decisions to ensure that Sturgeon County remains fiscally responsible.”
A single-family residential property assessed at $445,765 would see an approximate annual increase of $8.12 to their municipal taxes. The total proposed budget for 2018 is $80,565,097 of which $53,866,738 is for operations and $26,698,359 for capital.
The 2018 Budget will be available online mid-January.
Morinville Council passed an Interim Budget Dec. 19 and will enter Budget discussions and public consultation in January with the budget to be approved in February.