Town of Taber Budget 2020 Statement
At their November 25, 2019 meeting, Council passed the 2020 Capital and Operating Budgets.
Throughout their deliberations, Council made difficult decisions to help balance the budget in light of Provincial funding cuts and the economic downturn Alberta is facing.
Administration brought forward a number of cuts and cost savings in order to create a budget that reflects the high service level our citizens have come to expect, while remaining fiscally responsible in the face of a tough economic climate. While the required reduction in the 2020 municipal budget was $221,000 subsequent to the Provincial budget, Council and Administration brought forth cuts worth $278,000. The cuts which were made beyond the necessary amount provides a taxation cushion depending on the assessed value for land which the taxation model will be based on in early 2020. Alternatively these cuts provide the opportunity for Council to direct some funds to capital reserves in consideration of ensuring revenue is available for future necessary capital improvements.
$101,457 of the cuts were the direct impact of reducing Council’s wages, freezing management wages, and removing all non-essential staff training.
To this end, Council approved the following cuts to the budget:
- Council reduces their pay by 5%, cutting out $11,133;
- Management wages are to be frozen in 2020, reducing the budget by $35,064;
- Staff training was cut where it did not relate to required continuous professional learning, saving $55,260;
- Council rescinds RES. 552/2019 regarding sending the Mayor, one Councillor, and the Chief Administrative Officer to Japan, reducing the budget by $11,000;
- Reducing the Council Discretionary Fund by $50,000;
- A proposed study in the Planning and Economic Development Department was removed, equaling $60,000;
- By finding internal efficiencies vehicle rental, gas, and oil expenses were reduced by $12,000;
- Stormwater land improvements were cut by $20,000;
- Proposed natural gas heaters in Confederation Park were removed, saving $20,000;
- Removing Taber’s membership in the Canadian Badlands, equaling $4,500.
Despite these cuts, the existing services and service levels Town residents enjoy will be maintained to the highest extent possible.
“Our budget process has seen some significant constraints and cuts,” Mayor Prokop says, “However, we know many citizens in our community are having to tighten their own belts and find efficiencies, and it is our duty as Council to do the same on behalf of our taxpayers. These decisions weren’t easy, but I would like to thank Administration for their diligence in providing Council these options, and our staff for taking a number of cuts and freezes in order for Council to pass a balanced budget for next year. Despite these cuts, I have no doubt our staff will continue to provide excellent service and our citizens will receive the best value for their tax dollars.”
The 2020 Budgets are able to be viewed in the November 25th Council agenda package available at www.taber.ca under “Your Government" or by clicking here.
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