The Village of Alix has gone from being underfunded to having a surplus in its 2018 operating budget.
During its regular meeting Dec. 6, council approved its draft interim $2,537,319 operating budget. Revenue for 2018 is projected to be $2,834,060.
Alix Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White attributed the surplus to a combination of factors.
“The majority of the surplus is from refinancing Railway House as well as changes to different staffing levels that happened during 2017.”
These staffing changes were global, she said.
“There were some hour reductions in parks and recreation. There is a reduction in hours for the CAO. There are changes of hours worked for administration staff and there was a position in public works that was vacated and no additional hire there.”
CAO White told council the previous administration helped set the tone for going forward with the village’s finances such as doing budget preparations in-house.
“That was very valuable. Doing budget in-house with your own staff I find to be very helpful because you’re aware of every line item and every dollar value. For someone not part of the municipality it’s difficult to do that kind of detailed assessment for each department.”
Since the village is forecasting a surplus, residents shouldn’t expect any increase in the mill rate for 2018.
‘It’s projected that it won’t be necessary but again this is an interim budget,” said CAO White. “It was done with no increase. Council will make the final determination after the Alberta School Foundation requisition comes out but at this time it’s not being projected that a mill rate increase would be necessary.”
The trails salary budget item was adjusted for 2018.
“It was a clerical error (in 2017),” said CAO White. “It needs to be $23,000 instead of $43,000.”
Council doesn’t plan on cutting service levels.
“There will be no reduction in service levels at this point. Council may decide to change that but that would be something that would be a product of strategic planning as opposed to budgetary concerns.”
The village has $909,716 in restricted reserves, of which $259,716 is unfunded. To offset the unfunded restricted reserves, council unanimously voted in favour of transferring $195,437 to reserves.
CAO White was unable to answer questions regarding deficits due to Moonwalkers, stating it was before her time.