Property owners in the Village of Clive could face a tax increase in 2023 judging by an interim budget adopted by councillors at their Nov. 28 regular meeting.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney presented councillors with draft interim 2023 operating and capital budgets. Kenney noted right off the bat the village is looking at a $15,000 shortfall in the 2023 budget; she added it was originally about $40,000 but she took a harder look before presenting it to councillors.
As councillors perused the documents the CAO noted the interim budget included a four per cent increase to property taxes. Kenney stated that it looks like many other municipalities she’s aware of are also considering tax increases this year.
Mayor Lucy Henry noted the increase appears to match the 2022 consumer price index.
Kenney also stated the interim budget includes a four per cent cost of living increase for village staff and 3.5 per cent increase for council remuneration.
As councillors continued to examine the draft budget the CAO pointed out a large expenditure, $55,000, to be paid out over three years for the Alberta first responders radio communications system (AFRRCS), a modern and up-to-date system that virtually all emergency services, including police and fire, across the province are switching to. Kenney stated Clive’s share of the upgrades will add up to about $18,000 a year.
Another large increase is to policing services; the CAO pointed out Clive taxpayers will pay almost $38,000 for policing in 2023, up substantially from just a couple of years ago.
Kenney stated most municipalities she’s heard from are concerned about annual hikes in policing costs from the provincial government.
“That’s why no one’s happy,” said Kenney.
Councillors gave other input on the draft 2023 interim operating and capital budgets which will return for approval at a future meeting.
The CAO noted she recently attended a Canadian Association of Government Finance Officers virtual conference Nov. 16 to 18 where much information was shared about the global economic situation.
She heard that the current threat of recession appears to be caused by the supply side of the equation this time, rather than the demand side. The only tool governments have to address inflation is an interest rate hike.
It was noted that as consumers if we choose to buy fewer things, the situation should improve more quickly.
Other factors that appear to be affecting the economy is a retiring workforce and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During her regular CAO report Kenney also noted there are no updates on the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission line to Clive; it’s inauguration has been said to be caused by supply chain issues.
Councillors read the regular report submitted by the Blackfalds RCMP detachment which also covers Clive.
On Nov. 10 RCMP reported a complaint was received about a parcel stolen from the front steps of a Blackfalds residence. Camera footage was recorded but the suspect has yet to be identified.
On Nov. 11 RCMP attended a motor vehicle collision in Red Deer County where a vehicle struck a power pole. Utility workers were called. There were no injuries and the vehicle was towed.
On Nov. 12 a complaint was received of a stolen vehicle in Springbrook; apparently the vehicle was left idling and unattended. Bank cards left in the vehicle were alleged to have been used illegally after the theft. Police continue the investigation.
On Nov. 13 police received a report of a vehicle on fire. “Upon police and fire arrival the vehicle was only smouldering but had been fully burned,” stated the report.
On Nov. 14 RCMP were called to a roommate dispute in Blackfalds; it was stated the roommates had only lived together shortly and police were able to mediate the situation.
Councillors accepted the report as information.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter