Leduc residents are going to see their taxes go up next year in order to pay for the services a growing community needs.
At the December 8 council meeting, councillors approved a 3.7 per cent tax increase, two per cent of which will go toward enhanced police and fire protection and 1.7 per cent reflects an inflationary increase in all of the other city departments.
In addition to two new RCMP members, the city’s budget will show the addition of a youth outreach worker, the continuation of the Farmer’s Market pilot project downtown, a historic research project, assuming the operation of the Alexandra outdoor pool and splash park, implementing the Report and Impaired Driver program, the addition of a Leduc heritage event and waste diversion strategies for industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residences.
“This budget is a true reflection of responsible planning, constructive input from citizens and the city’s overall prosperity which helps ensure Leduc is a thriving success,” said Deputy Mayor Dana Smith, who chaired the meeting.
The $40.7 million budget will be dedicated to projects and initiatives dealing with roads, offsite levies, engineering, parks, Public Services, facilities and capital purchases. The City’s $90.5 million operation budget will be allocated for standard operating expenses like grants to organizations, contract services, staffing and paying for new service levels.
The city based many of its budget decisions on input from the public. In addition to holding open budget meetings and providing an opportunity for public input there, the City also provided online opportunities for citizens to express their thoughts on the budget.
“This budget is a true reflection of input of citizens and staff,” said Smith. “Our online feature is an added bonus and more people included their input. It really was enhanced and allowed us to get a lot more information and opinions.”