Wetaskiwin County approves interim 2016 budget

Wetaskiwin County council approved an interim budget at its Dec. 15 meeting.

Wetaskiwin County council approved an interim budget at its Dec. 15 meeting.

Through two separate motions, both unanimously approved, councillors authorized the 2015 business plans an an interim business plan for 2016 and approved the 2015 operating budget as an interim budget for 2016.

“We’re going to pull forward the 2015 budget with the adjustments that are listed,” said Grace French, directer of finance.

During French’s presentation, she reiterated council had, through a strategic planning process, identified the need for a grader replacement on a five year rotation; at two graders replaced per year leaving a complete replacement of the fleet at the end of five years.

An amendment going into 2016 for the budget is $950,000 in the capital budget going toward the purchase of two graters, a new trailer, a used residential garbage truck and a new calcium storage tank, among other equipment.

The net cost of the two graders is $170,360, the net cost of the calcium tank is $58,000, the net cost of the garbage truck is $80,000, and the net cost of the roll off trailer is -$20,000.

The $950,000 is the same as the 2015 budget balance.

Also stemming from the strategic planning process, the winter gravelling program will have a $2.48 million budget to gravel 33 per cent of the total roads.

The road construction budget will stay the same going into the new year at approximately $1.8 million. The 2016 interim budget includes gravelling the 2015 shoulder pulls and reconstruction.

The road oiling budget will also stay the same at $875,000; oiling projects business plan was developed during strategic planning.

The interim budget includes the purchase of transistors for the Mulhurst Transfer Station, at a cost of $650,000 and funded from the Federal Gas Tax Grant.

A Wetaskiwin No. 10 Wastewater Services Businesses Plan was also developed during strategic planning.

Within the interim budget capital plan, there is a plan to tender the Alder Flats Lagoon expansion in early 2016. The estimated cost of the project is $2.9 million. The funds have been approved from the Small Communities portion of the Building Canada Grant.

Both the federal and provincial government will contribute a maximum $981,867 toward the project.

Under the strategic planning Fire Services Business Plan, a new tanker fire truck is set to be purchased for the Buck Lake/Alder Flats Department at $275,000.

According to the issue summary report the truck needs to be tendered early in the new year to ensure it can be built and delivered in 2016.

There is currently $334,687 in the Buck Lake/Alder Flats capital reserve and $170,045 in the general operating reserve.

The Winfield Fire Department is also planning a $175,000 building addition. The department has $105,033 in its capital reserve.

Another addition to the Wetaskiwin County building for $600,000. The interim budget includes the addition with funding through reserves and/or grant revenue.

The interim budget allocates $1 million of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative toward the Winfield Arena floor and ventilation system. Of that $1 million, $78,789 goes toward engineer costs and $921,211 to contract charges.

Within the interim budget, Wetaskiwin County administration will purchase a $25,000 photocopier. The money will come from office reserves.

The issue summary states the final amendment is, “Effective Jan. 1, 2016, a 3 per cent COLA increase for all salaries and wages set out in the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Union No. 955 Collective Agreement resulting in a total wage salary increase for all staff before benefit adjustments to the County of $361,960.”

Items over and above regular operating expenditures required prior approval and council gave direction within its strategic planning process.

 

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