Revised operating budget passed in Forestburg

During a regular meeting, on April 17, Forestburg council approved the financial audit presented by Grant Thornton LLP. It was found to be a clean audit with no falsifications.

Pool operating grant
Coun. Dwayne Giroux motioned to approve the Forestburg Swimming Pool Association’s request for an operating grant of $58,530. Council also approved an additional capital grant of $20,000 for replacement of the pool boiler.
The Forestburg Swimming Pool Association submitted a request and financial statement to council for consideration prior to the meeting.
The Forestburg Swimming Pool Association has received an operating grant since 2004.

Revised 2018 Capital Budget
Coun. Devon McNabb approved the revised Capital Budget of $372,500, a $70,000 increase.
The increase came from the need to loop the waterline from 50 Avenue to 49 Avenue. This issue came to attention during the waterline freeze experienced this winter. This project is estimated at $80,000 and will be funded from capital reserves.
Also affecting the capital budget was the cost of a loader purchase. The purchase, originally estimated at $100,000, will now only cost the village $90,000.
The vendor is willing to take a $10,000 trade-in for the old loader, lowering the previously budgeted cost.
The purchase of the loader is funded through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) and reserves.

Revised 2018 Operating Budget
Council passed the revised 2018 Operating Budget with an increase of $14,470, total being $3,327,730.
Budget changes include expense increases, some of which are based on 2017 data, increase in MSI, and an overall decrease in property tax receivables.
Although tax rate bylaws do not come before council until May, administration is not anticipating any change to the tax rate from 2017, other than a potential increase in minimum tax.

Frozen waterline cost sharing
Council is willing to pay for 50 per cent of the cost a resident incurred due to thawing frozen waterlines, although does not want to set a precedent for future events.
“It needs to be a case by case basis,” spoke Coun. Giroux, “not everyone who has a frozen waterline will get 50 per cent of their bill paid.”
The resident, who submitted a letter to council, contracted a private company in an attempt to thaw the water line, which proved to be unsuccessful.
Administration shared with council that the water line was frozen to the main, and the service line had to be replaced from the property line to the main.
“I think we have to help these people,” said Coun. Elaine Fossen, “But, I think we have to think about this in the fall when all these people are going away, and not having any one check their homes and run the water because in a lot of cases it could have been avoided.
“We have to help these people, but we have to place some responsibility on the homeowners.”

Emily Wheller
ECA Review

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