Wetaskiwin county council set its 2018 interim budget Dec. 19. File photo

Wetaskiwin county council set its 2018 interim budget Dec. 19. File photo

County of Wetaskiwin passes 2018 interim budget

County set to gravel 33 per cent of road total in 2018

The County of Wetaskiwin council approved the interim budget for 2018, using the 2017 budget plus adjustments to hold the numbers until the official 2018 budget is passed in the spring of next year.

Councillors passed the budget during their Dec. 19 general council meeting. Earlier budget discussion took place in November and December during the county’s 2017 Strategic and Business Planning sessions and public works meeting. The budget was passed during the general meeting with little continued discussion.

During council’s November 2017 Strategic and Business Planning sessions the budget was brought forward and council reviewed anticipated changes that would affect next year, including, assessment changes and cost of living adjustments.

At the Dec. 12 public works meeting council deliberated the 2018 interim public works budget and capital budget.

The county’s proposed 10-year capital plan includes updating all costs for purchase and trade-in values, revising replacement dates to reflect actual usage and vehicle or equipment conditions, and additions to the fleet to meet objectives prescribed in the Strategic Business Plan.

Approved under the 2018 interim budget:

• A 0.5 per cent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), effective Jan. 1, 2018; a one per cent COLA, effective Jan. 1, 2019; and a 1.5 per cent COLA, effective Jan. 1, 2020 for Out of Scope (non-union) staff.

• The capital budget of $950,000, including the purchase of three new graders to replace three other models, one new replacement fifth-wheel truck, one new replacement Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, one new replacement one ton cab and chassis, a new replacement half ton 4×4, a new replacement half ton 4×2, one replacement utility trailer for mowers, a mobile hotsy pressure washer, a tow behind packer, one trench shoring box, a mobile fuel trailer, a 4×4 sign truck, one Trimble RTK GPS survey system, and a reclaimer/sloper.

• The gravelling budget was set at $2.4 million for the gravelling program to gravel 33 per cent of the county’s roads, as discussed during strategic planning.

• The road construction budget was set at $1.7 million for construction projects in the current year, or for transfers to reserves for projects in the future, as per the five-year construction plan.

• The road oiling budget was set at $775,000.

• The fund program budget is $$835,000.

• The completion of the Alder Flats Lagoon expansion at a cost of $525,000.

• The Alder Flats Sanitary Collection Project with an estimated cost of $1.1 million, and will be funded through Building Canada Funds and Local Improvements.

• The completion of Phase 2 of the Regional Lines for the Southside Sewer Project for a cost of $7.1 million, funded through Clean Water and Wastewater, Water for Life, and Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) Grant.

• The completion of the Internal Lines for the Southside Sewer Project for a cost of $860,700, funded by local improvement levy and grant funds.

• The delivery of a new tanker for the Mulhurst Fire Department for $260,000, carried over from 2017.

• The delivery of a new rescue truck for the South Pigeon Lake Fire Department for $450,000, carried over from 2017.

• The building maintenance budget was set at $147,000.

• An addition of Asset Management Software for a cost of $281,000, being funded from the MSI and FCM Capital Grant.

• Effective Jan. 1, 2018, approved grid movement increases for eligible staff (before benefit adjustments to the county) in the amount of $30,650.

amelia.naismith@piepstoneflyer.ca