Council reviews strategic plans

Forestburg council members reviewed and accepted the 2020 to 2024 Capital Plan at their regular meeting on Thurs. June 6.

Proposed capital projects for 2020 include replacing the computer server for $25,000 with funding to come from the contingency reserve.

The new subdivision road at 58 Avenue West will be reconditioned for a cost of $58,500 from the provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI).

The outdoor swimming pool requires a new pool liner and will be replaced for $160,000 with funds from the pool reserve/operating funds, donations and the Federal Gas Tax Fund (FGTF).

The street (57 St. W.) from Hwy 53 to 46 Ave. West will also be reconstructed in the next year for $300,000 with funding from the MSI.

The five-year plan is not binding and can be amended if council determines that priorities need to change due to emerging issues in the future.

Operating Plan approved

Council approved the Operating Plan with the most significant change related to fire services as the Village of Forestburg will become a member of the Flagstaff Regional Emergency Services Society next year.

An annual requisition will be paid to this organization and administration has determined that the fairest way to charge for fire costs is through utility bills.

It is expected that taxes from 2019-2020 will be reduced as the burden of fire costs will be covered by utility bills rather than property taxes.

A fire utility will cost will be created to ensure that large facilities such as Big Knife Villa and the public school are still contributing to the cost of fire services even though they do not pay property taxes.

It is anticipated that property taxes and utility rates will be affected by the projected operating budgets.

In 2020, the residential tax rate is expected to decrease by 4.8 per cent from 2019. Based on a residential property assessment of $100,000, this means that a yearly tax of $1,304 this year, would be $1,255 in 2020.

The Special Culture and Recreation Tax of $210 per property will continue to be added to the municipal tax notice.

New public works trucks Five trucks were stolen from the public works yard in Forestburg from May 9 to May 12 and although all the trucks were recovered, they also sustained some level of damage.

The village is now in need of replacing two trucks that received extensive damage.

Council approved the purchase of two new trucks to replace the two that were damaged at a cost of $49,161.

 

Jody Pettigrew

ECA Review

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