Coronation residents will see no tax increase for 2021 as the 2020 rates are being carried over.
The motions were made at the Mon. May 24 Coronation council meeting with $1.5 million roughly being raised in taxes.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint shared that approximately $3.3 million is needed for operations but 1.8 million is to be funded by other revenue.
The policing cost for the 2021 year for Coronation came to $17,496.20 which has already been taken by the province as payment.
This amount will be included in the general municipal tax rate next year as administration wished to show taxpayers where this increase is coming from and is not a town decision.
It sits at 0.2382 mills for Coronation residents.
The general municipal residential rate is set at 14.0840.
Residential rate is 13.3840 while non-residential sits at 20.8840.
Machinery and equipment is at 20.8840.
For provincial requisitions, the Alberta School Foundation Fund for residential sits at 2.6990, non-residential at 3.8545.
Seniors Foundation (Paintearth Lodge) for residential is at 0.5293 and non-residential is at 0.5293.
Total assessment for the community sits at $107,322,120.
Total residential mill rate stands at 17.5505 for residential, rural residential at 16.8505, non-residential and machinery and equipment at 25.5847.
Operating budget adjustments
Upon further review of the 2021 operating budget, the municipality has seen an increase in assessment in some areas and a decrease in others.
The total overall decrease as of May 19 is $401,540.
CAO Flint shared that the adjustment to the municipal assessments has made a significant impact on the municipality’s bottom line.
As a result, the municipality was required to adjust the mill rates to follow the needs of the municipality.
The Police Costing was placed in revenue by mistake instead of an expense so the total amount of $17,463.62 leaving a total deficit of $102,463.62.
Amendments made to the municipal operating budget include an increase to penalties and costs on taxes as well as bulk water at $528.62 and $18,000 respectively.
The CAO noted that bulk water has had a lot of movement this year.
Decreases were noted as well to cover the shortfall of $102,463.62 previously mentioned.
It came from reductions in areas of equipment repair/maintenance, fuels and lubricants as well as a focus on roads including gravel and salt, repairs and maintenance and sidewalk repairs.
Fire hydrants were also decreased by $5,000 and the Shirley McClellan Regional Water Services Commission gave their final numbers which allows the town to drop their water consumption allocation by $38,935.
Council agreed to accept these amendments.
Fire call out
Following the Spondin grass fire that took place April 17, a discussion was spurred as to what to do about the aftermath of finances.
The Coronation Fire Department assisted Special Areas in combating and halting the large prairie fire that was spreading quickly and fueled more so by the high winds that day.
The total cost for the first call-out is $9,840.
Council was tasked with deciding to follow through on charging Special Areas for this service or to waive the fees as a sign of good faith amongst neighbours.
The bill is expected to be applied to the landowner’s insurance.
As part of the current fire agreement between the County of Paintearth and Coronation, it is understood that this type of billing is part of the process.
If the Coronation Fire Department were to be called out to combat a large-scale grass fire that was located in the county, the costs would be different as they don’t need to charge to be using their own equipment that the county owns.
The total cost for this type of call-out would be $950.
Council asked the CAO to check in with the county to get their opinion and to see if there is an agreement between Special Areas and Paintearth.
Coun. Shelly Cook felt waiving the fee was the right path to keep building a strong relationship with the neighbouring municipality.
“But they have been there for us too in some pretty harsh situations,” said CAO Flint.
“That’s where I am coming from,” said Cook.
“We have leaned on Veteran quite a few times in the last year,” added Flint.
Council further chose to table this matter to a future meeting to gather more information on the subject from both the county and Special Areas.
Water tower lights
Residents will soon see 16 bright LED high-powered lights on the historic water tower in Coronation after council gave the go-ahead to purchase the electrical units while other work is being done on the structure.
The restoration company, Winmar, currently working on the exterior of the water tower, gave a quote of $8,500 total to install and ensure the wiring is done properly.
They have agreed to allow an electrician of the town’s choosing to have their own contractor install the lights on the water tower.
Winmar has also agreed to help find suitable lights.
A rough estimate of $200 per light plus the cost to install.
They would be ‘wifi-style’ to allow changing of the colours from a remote at ground level rather than trekking up to change them.
“This is the time to do it,” said Deputy. Mayor Mark Stannard.
Coun. Cook shared that many Coronationites were interested in supporting the endeavour, spurring the idea to set up a place for donations.
It was decided to have the Community in Bloom (CiB) group take care of this.
Council passed a motion to purchase the lights as soon as possible and have CiB help collect donations to offset the cost.