November 23, 2022 – After three days of deliberations, Council approved the 2023 Operating Budget and 2023 Capital Plan at the Regular Meeting of Council today.
The Operating Budget came in at $109,457,673, while the Capital Budget (not including carryover projects from 2022) came in at $20,107,481.
Administration presented balanced budgets by reducing operating expenses. To continue to offer the high level of service residents have come to expect living in the M.D. of Bonnyville, Council also approved a two percent tax increase, and will be implementing a one percent Environment Levy in 2023.
“This has been a challenging budget,” said Reeve Barry Kalinski. “Revenues and assessments are down, while expenditures have increased.”
The budget also includes a review of the M.D.’s water and sewer rates. There will be an incremental increase to water and sewer rates to help move toward a partial cost recovery model.
“There were tough decisions to be made,” said Kalinski. “We’ve come off of years of prosperity and zero tax increases to now having to raise the rates a little to make sure we can continue to offer our residents the services they need — not necessarily the services they want — and plan for the future so we can continue to offer those services, while continuing to put money in reserve for larger projects.”
The budget is reflective of the 2022-2027 Council Strategic Plan. The plan, passed earlier this year, sets a clear path for the municipality for the next five years, including building a viable and diversified regional economy, enhancing safety in the community, and promoting community development.
The M.D. of Bonnyville remains as one of the lowest municipal residential tax rates in Alberta.
The 2023 Mill Rate will be brought forward in May, after the M.D. receives the provincial requisitions for education and Lakeland Lodge.