The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases.
The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and released Tuesday morning.
“In regards to our debt reduction plan, we continue to want to do a $2 million net debt reduction in the year while keeping the taxes (increase) at zero and also getting some things done,” said city manager Jeff Ward.
They plan to borrow about $1 million to start and complete the Rafferty Waterline Intake Project. That is funded by the city, province and federal government by a third each.
“We need to make sure we’ve got our $3.3 million in place,” Ward said.
In other major capital announcements, the city will be looking at an expansion at the police station, where some land near it may be used for a much lower rate. That will cost about $500,000 to expand.
“The other large scale project would be some updating to the Power Dodge Ice Centre,” Ward said. “There are issues with the shower, the sharing of facilities over there. Without the Civic (Auditorium), we really want to make sure the Power Dodge Ice Centre is represented and gets a facelift and some operational changes to make it more usable to our user groups.”
Council wants to also continue with some park improvements, Ward said, including Centennial Park.
“There have been discussions of a spray park there,” Ward said.
There are some operational budget issues as well, he said.
The proposed budget is on the city’s website and Ward said they wanted to get public feedback on the document.
“As part of the transparency, we really want to get feedback on the budget,” Ward said. “We encourage everyone to go out there and provide feedback. Within before the next few weeks, likely before the next council meeting there will be a special meeting held to approve the budget.|
Ward said that if they end up getting a lot of feedback they’ll hold off passing the budget until after the next council meeting Feb. 11.
There will be a year end report in April or May for a full review of the city’s 2018 year.