Town of Stettler council took steps toward finalizing some of their financial plans for the 2017 budget at its Tuesday, Dec. 6 meeting.
Under the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the town must have an interim operating budget in place prior to Jan. 1, 2017. This allows the town to continue to function, sending out necessary utilities bills, paying suppliers, receiving payments and paying staff.
The draft 2017-2019 budget estimates expenditures of $16,801,224 and revenues of $17,785,191 for 2017.
The actual budget will be adopted some time between late March and early May, as the town receives information regarding its income from other sources, such as provincial funding.
“The interim operating budget is not used to set definitive property tax rates,” staff wrote in a memo to council. “It is used as the authority to provide services, programs, and overall corporate continuity.”
The estimated municipal tax rate is anticipated to be two per cent, with increases in utilities as of Jan. 1. The increases would be five cents per cube of water, a 50-cent increase in sewer fees, a 50-cent increase in residential garbage pickup, and a 25-cent increase in recycling pickup.
When compared to other like-sized communities in Alberta, the rate increases places the town almost dead centre. Beiseiker has the highest water rates at $135.96, while Whitecourt has the lowest at $27.05.
Late-year capital expenditures given go-headCouncil also decided on some of the capital expenditures that remained outstanding on 2016 capital budget, dealing with proposals for a winged pull-behind mower and a dump trailer.
Cervus Equipment Ltd. And Future Ag. Inc. both submitted tenders for the mower, with Cervus coming in at $19,915.07 plus GST, with a five-year warranty on the gearbox and a one-year warranty on the mower.
Future Ag.’s bid was $13,600 plus GST, with a six-year warranty on the gearbox and a three-year warranty on the mower.
Lee Penner, who prepared the report on the mower tenders, noted that the mowers offered by both applicants met the requirements of the original request for proposal, recommended council choose Future Ag Inc.
Council had also put aside $15,000 for a new dump trailer, with bids coming in from Hi-way 12 Sales Inc., and Hitch to Headlights Inc.
While Hi-way 12 Sales provided the less expensive option in its $10,900 bid, staff recommended Hitch to Headlights’ $13,109.13 bid because of the ease of use. The deck of the trailer was five-and-a-half inches lower than that offered by Hi-way 12 Sales, had support rails, an easier-to-use tailgate and wiring harness soldered.
Both came with equal one-year warranties.