For Immediate Release / October 29, 2019
Proposed Financial Plan & 2020 Budget Presented to Council
At the October 28, 2019 City Council Meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Scoble presented Council with Administration’s Proposed Financial Plan and 2020 Budget.
The City’s business planning and budget process is a comprehensive undertaking that is guided by the Community Vision, Council’s Strategic Plan and resident feedback, including Budget World Café discussions, to help ensure the plan and budget reflect priorities identified by the community. It also considers the need for restraint resulting from the reality of today’s provincial and federal economies and the continued decline of external funding sources.
As we move into year three of Council’s four-year term, Administration continues its focus on Council’s six overarching priorities: growth, economic development, building a transportation network, infrastructure investment, housing and environmental stewardship.
To support and achieve these desired outcomes, Administration developed the Proposed Financial Plan and 2020 Budget, which is built to:
- Maintain services and service levels;
- Optimize service levels where appropriate;
- Support growth to move forward Council’s Strategic Plan; and,
- Maintain and plan for various infrastructure projects.
Long-term fiscal sustainability is also one of the City’s top priorities. Administration is focused on developing sustainable business practices through revenue generation opportunities, cost-savings initiatives, process efficiency improvements and the creation of regional partnerships and collaborative opportunities where appropriate.
Proposed Operating Budget – For 2020, Administration is proposing an operating budget of $109.7 million, which yields an overall average municipal property tax increase of 2.4 per cent. This consists of a 0.9 per cent increase to maintain current services, as well as a 1.5 per cent increase focusing on repairing, maintaining and/or replacing (RMR) existing municipal infrastructure. The proposed municipal operating budget recommends seven growth business cases valued at $1.5 million to support initiatives related to new operating programs or recommended changes to service levels. These initiatives are funded from new assessment growth revenue, which means there is no tax impact to residents.
Proposed Municipal Capital Budget – The proposed municipal capital budget of $93.5 million includes 29 capital charters (requests of funding for projects) focusing on RMR for existing municipal infrastructure, and 16 capital charters that address community growth. The City is facing a significant funding challenge in this area over the next 10 years. Council approved the 1.5 per cent property tax increase for the next three years to start addressing this challenge. Administration is working on various long-term solutions to help offset the impact of RMR on municipal taxes.
Proposed Utility Capital Budget – The proposed utility capital budget of $11.6 million includes 14 capital projects, which focus on repairing, maintaining and/or replacing existing utility infrastructure. The proposed monthly utility bill will yield an average increase of 0.05 per cent or a change of $0.06 compared to last year.
“Council encourages all residents to have their say on what priorities are important to them and to participate in upcoming budget opportunities,” says Mayor Cathy Heron. “This year, rather than hold an open house, the City is trying a new online platform to engage with our residents. This tool provides an opportunity for a greater number of residents to participate and share their thoughts, which will help us better understand their needs as we move forward.
Residents are invited to have their say online from October 29 to November 10. All input will be shared with City Council and inform their decision-making on the 2020 budget. To participate, visit stalbert.ca/budgetinput.
For more information on the proposed financial plan and 2020 budget, as well as the full budget document, visit the City of St. Albert’s website at budget.stalbert.ca and click on 2020 Budget.
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Last edited: October 29, 2019