The Town of Stettler council discussed the recently released provincial budget in the rather light Mar. 1 meeting.
According to Mayor Sean Nolls, the provincial budget is not good news for rural communities.
“The amount they have taken away makes it hard to do planning,” said Nolls.
Due to the provincial cutbacks, and increasing costs such as the policing requisitions coming into play, some community infrastructure projects may need to be shifted to being done every two years instead of yearly just due to budgets, according to Nolls.
“That makes a lot of long-term communities not sustainable,” said Nolls.
“The province is downloading costs on communities, causing them to raise property taxes to unreasonably high levels. They balanced the budget on the backs of the municipalities.”
Nolls did note that the budget was not entirely bad news, noting that Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), and other support services were “kept where they should be.”
Still, as much as Nolls gets where the province is coming from regarding attempting to balancing the books, he feels there has to be a better way, before municipalities start “having to pick and chose infrastructure projects going forward.”
Council’s next meeting is Mar. 15 at 6:30 p.m.