Hanna holding the line on operating budget

Written by Terri Huxley

Council adopted the interim 2022 Operating and Capital Budget as presented; and accepted the 2023 and 2024 Operating Budgets and the 2023-2026 Capital Budgets for information.

Administration and council hammered out the details over the span of three meetings.

Administration shared they started with a deficit of $500,000 but were able to balance the budget, holding the line with a zero per cent increase this year.

“I believe we’ve captured all of the changes, all of the discussions over the last few meetings and what you have before you reflects those meetings,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill.

The final budget will be finalized in May where adjustments will be made to align with requisitions, assessment values and other rates set between the beginning of the year and the finalization.

For general municipal revenue in the form of taxation, there is a zero per cent increase, bringing in $2,768,098.

Utility amendment bylaw

During budget deliberations, council was provided with information regarding the increase in the cost for water from the Henry Kroeger Regional Water Services Commission from $2.89 to $2.94 per cubic metre, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

As a result, the Town of Hanna 2022 Budget was approved with a corresponding increase in rates for water consumption for properties serviced by the Town of Hanna.

Each time the rates are changed, an amending bylaw is presented to council to change Schedule A.

Two amendments were presented including the increase the cubic metre charge from $2.89 to $2.94 and increase the regional waste fee to $44.

The bylaw passed all three readings.

The minimum invoice per billing period will remain at $140 for residential properties, as the only change to the bylaw is the rate for water consumed.

For most commercial properties, the minimum bill per billing period will remain at $129.

Real estate services agreement

Council agreed to extend their real estate agreement with Marc Aubin & Associates as per their proposal effective immediately for a term ending December 31, 2022.

Since 2015 the town has had various local realtors serve as the Town Real Estate Service Provider.

Administration believes that by having a constant marketing presence and representative working for the town to sell their properties it takes responsibility off of administration and the realtor is in a better position and has the required expertise to market the properties.

In November of 2020 as a result of the previous Real Estate Services Agreement expiring, administration prepared and shared electronically to all four local realtors a Request for Proposals for the provision of Real Estate Marketing Services to the Town of Hanna.

One proposal was received by the deadline from Marc Aubin & Associates.

CAO Neill shared that the town ‘has been satisfied with the work [Todd Wallace] has done’ and that no other realtors have been interested in stepping back into this role.

VIC operation lease agreement

The Town of Hanna owns the Visitor Information Centre (VIC).

Since its opening, the Town of Hanna has operated the facility but in January of 2021 administration entered into discussions with representatives of the Hanna Learning Centre (HLC) and the Hanna Business Hub to explore their interest in managing and operating it.

Following discussions with HLC and HUB representatives, the HUB prepared and submitted a proposal to manage the Visitor Information Centre as a pilot project for the 2021 season.

The HLC managed the VIC as per the agreement for the 2021 season and have expressed interest in managing the operation in a similar fashion for the 2022-2024 seasons.

Due to the success of the trial year, administration met with their representatives and prepared a revised Memorandum of Agreement for council approval which was received at the latest Hanna council meeting to continue this agreement for another three years.

Hanna Elks Lodge

Vern Thuroo of the Hanna Elks Lodge shared the annual update on the Lodge as well as presented a donation of $451 to the town for public skating.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.