BONNYVILLE- Residents in the Village of Glendon won’t see a tax increase based on the 2020 interim budget.
Mayor Laura Papirny noted it's largely due to the MD of Bonnyville’s Inter-municipal Cooperation Program (ICP), which will see the village receive roughly $1.05-million. Approximately $342,000 of those dollars are used to help cover their operating expenses.
“It’s been a God-send, and we’re very thankful for that. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to complete our projects.”
The budget was passed during the village’s Dec. 10 council meeting.
The municipality is predicting a $95,000 surplus for the 2020 operating budget, with expenses anticipated around $1.26-million, revenues at $1.05-million, and non-cash amortization just shy of $300,000.
“We usually operate with a bit of an excess just because of unexpected emergencies,” explained CAO Melody Kwiatkowski. “We like to be able to transfer over to capital, and that’s how we’ve managed to build up our reserves is by having some excess every year.”
The village is estimating to collect $491,000 in municipal taxes, including $294,000 from residential, $85,000 from commercial, and about $1,480 from farm.
The remainder of the operating funds are generated through the ICP.
Council also passed an interim capital budget with a surplus of $1.5-million. Expenses are sitting at $3.7-million, while revenues are anticipated at $5.2-million.
According to Kwiatkowski, those numbers will change ahead of the final budget being approved, after the village learned they won't be receiving $2-million through the Alberta Community Resilience Program for a drainage ditch. Without the grant, expenses will drop to $1.8-million and revenues will be around $3.1-million.
The village was informed by the province that while they qualified for funding, the money wouldn't be available in 2020.
"We got a letter saying that all the dollars have been spent and the program is no longer continuing," Kwiatkowski detailed.
The money was going to be used to address ongoing drainage issues in Glendon.
“In the spring, with the thaw, it’s always the same and it’s a pattern. We know what it is, we’ve done studies toward that, so we've made steps toward correcting that, and then there’s residents that are affected when we have the flash downpours. That affects a different part of the town, and we’re looking into it,” stated Papirny.
According to Papirny, plans for a water drainage system are in the works, but are currently on hold until the village receives approval from Alberta Environment.
“It’s just our overall plan, because of our spring flooding issues, we started that several years ago. We did have a town hall meeting about it, now we’re just waiting on approvals from the province and more information.”
The village puts a portion of what they receive from the ICP towards capital projects. This year, the municipality is anticipating to use $740,000 for capital.
Major items slated for 2020 include the underground replacement on 55 St. and 56 St., which is estimated to cost $1.14-million. Part of the work will be funded through $1-million in capital reserves, and the village has also applied for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program in order to help with the costs.
Papirny said she's looking forward to seeing it continue.
“Like every municipality, our infrastructure is aging and it’s at the end of its lifespan… Some of our waterlines are from the 1960s, and we’re experiencing more breaks in our waterlines, so we like to be proactive.”
She continued, “I’m extremely happy to work on our infrastructure. It needs to be tackled, and it’s such a huge amount of money. It’s essentially $1-million (per) street for road, water, and sewer, so to be able to start working on that is wonderful.”
An estimated $300,000 was set aside for improvements at the baseball diamond, such as integrating a campground.
“We did a bit (in 2019)… and future work is dependent on funding availability,” Kwiatkowski explained.
Ahead of the 2020 budget being approved in the spring, Papirny wants to host an open house to answer questions and share details with the public.
“We haven’t really done that before, but this way residents can come, see, and discuss... Some people just may not know that… this is an interim budget, and we’ll pass the complete budget in May.”
Papirny plans to bring the subject to the table at their next council meeting to iron out the finer details.