by Morinville News Staff
County Council voted 5-2 in favour of passing the 2020 Budget with a 1.18 per cent increase on Tuesday. The average County home, valued at $464,140, will see approximately a $20 increase in 2020.
The County’s 2020 budget consists of $59,054,646 in operating aand a capital budget of $24,238,300.
Council began looking at the budget in early October and spent a day-and-a-half in late November on budget deliberations.
Originally planned as a zero increase for the second year in a row, the County says planning and deliberations were more complicated this year due to the late provincial budget announcement and uncertainty around rural policing.
“Council initially planned to move forward with a zero per cent increase, but the recent policing costs announcement has left us with a large expense of $586K and less than five months to prepare for, resulting in a 1.18 per cent increase.” said Mayor, Alanna Hnatiw.
The County says they have gone with a lean 2020 Operating and Capital Budget due to the economic situation in the region and information the County currently has.
“I am disappointed that we couldn’t hold the line at zero per cent. Given the current economic situation, it’s necessary that we lessen financial burden,” Hnatiw said. “Our residents have been clear on their level of frustration where rural crime is concerned. I hope the province and the RCMP can deliver on this in a manner that matches the need.”
The County says the 2020 budget maintains core services for Sturgeon County residents, and addresses investments in infrastructure with a strong emphasis on public safety.
The budget includes a full-scale drainage review in Sturgeon Valley subdivisions and the addition of four full time equilvellent positions.
The municipal tax rate will be approved in the spring of 2020, and those tax bills will include education and seniors housing requisitions.
Utility fees for water and wastewater management will increase by approximately $95 per year for the average residential utility customer in 2020.
The County says the 2020 Operating/Capital Budget document will be available online in early January.