Coronation Council talks of increased property tax, reduced funding

Coronation town council held operating budget talks at their regular council meeting April 15 with discussions centred around increased property taxes and reduced funding for community requests.

After deliberations for the 2024 draft budget, council proposed that the minimum municipal property tax, previously set at $650 be increased to $700.

An analysis utilizing the 2024 assessment values of $113,869,780 was presented to council by administration. As a result of increased assessment the revenue would increase by $15,050 for the year.

Coun. Mark Stannard made a motion to pass first reading of the proposed bylaw 2024-702.

Coun. Cody Hillmer moved to raise the minimum tax rate by $50 in 2024.

Community funding concerns
A lively discussion was had as council members discussed several items in the operating budget with a focus on community funding.

Concern was raised by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint regarding money set aside for community funding requests in the 2024 operating budget.

Included in the budget are Coronation arena of $15,000, Coronation Curling Association of $16,000, communities in bloom of $14,000, Coronations Golf Club of $30,000 and Community Events Guild of $1,200.

Mayor Matthew Peacock expressed that he would no longer head up the Community Events Guild and it was suggested that money be removed from the budget.

CAO Flint suggested that money currently allocated in the budget for community funding could instead be used for infrastructure costs. Also noted by other council members was that Coronation funds boards that are not typically funded in other communities.

It was mentioned that the golf course buildings have had a lot of work done and therefore would be good for a couple of years, but the curling and skating rink need some repairs, with the curling rink needing immediate attention.

It was agreed that the curling rink association is doing as much as possible to help with costs by fundraising and renting out the facilities.

CAO Flint noted that the challenge involves balancing dollars and the needs that the council is expected to deal with, adding that the curling rink needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in work, the skating rink needs a new ice plant, ground structures such as water and sewer lines need attention and the rising replacement costs for sidewalks.

Deputy Mayor Ron Checkel suggested if funding was reduced by half, in two years these community services would be gone.

CAO Flint remarked that he was “aware that it does hurt community groups,” noting that there may be a loss of volunteers and services but “if we don’t have the facilities to work in we will not be able to help in any way. So it’s a double-edged sword.”

Cutting back on community funding a little bit is “not an attack on the community groups, it’s just we have a lot of obligations as a municipality, that we seem to be not prioritizing those issues as much as we should be,” said the CAO.

It was suggested by Coun. Stannard that the decision be left for this year and that associations should be given notice about these talks so they don’t get caught off-guard.

Checkel agreed, suggesting that council wait for the master plan before pondering cuts.

A motion was passed to table budget discussions until the next council meeting.

Cheryl Bowman
Multimedia reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Cheryl Bowman

Cheryl spent most of her childhood in Stettler, growing up on a quarter section north of town. After graduating from Stettler Composite High School she moved to Calgary where she worked in various industries, attended The University of Calgary and raised a family.

She enjoyed volunteering and contributed in a variety of ways, such as writing articles for the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and covering charitable events as a photographer.

She moved back to Stettler in 2023 where she still has family.