By Trevor Busch
The Town of Taber’s 2015-2017 capital budget has allocated more than $1.5 million for building projects in the community over 2015.
At their Dec. 15 meeting, town council voted unanimously to approve the final draft 2015-2017 capital budget, including the transfer and re-allocation of amounts within the capital reserve accounts for the budget plan to be achieved.
Total proposed capital purchases for 2015 ring in at $13,080,590. Proposed capital purchases for 2016 are pegged at $13,923,650, and $5,124,190 for 2017.
Building projects have been allocated $1,550,000, with major projects including phase 1 of the Administration Building ($625,000); phase 1 of the emergency training center ($295,000); arena dressing room addition ($450,000); phase 2 of the historic courthouse upgrade ($80,000); pesticide containment shed ($10,000); KMMSC maintenance building expansion ($40,000); and project pre-design and engineering for various projects ($50,000).
Topping the building project list for 2015, the necessity of proposed renovations to the town’s aging half of the Administration Building was challenged by Coun. Jack Brewin.
“To do the money for the Administration Building, would be to do it in a two phase process,” said director of corporate services Dale Culler.
“The first phase would be doing part of the work, so the anticipated amount in the budget was still going to be about $1.25 million dollars, in that range. At this point, just like the dressing rooms, there’s no hard numbers, but we need to make sure we have enough money in here to move forward with the project, once we get an idea of exactly what we want to to do.”
Culler went on to remind town council that most projects included in the capital budget would return for council’s final approval once the number were finalized, providing an opportunity to further postpone the project in future.
In the area of engineering structures projects, total allocations have been set at $9,369,340, with major projects including the bi-annual capital works and Eureka development ($7,496,640); ditch culvert and drainage upgrades to be completed by EPCOR ($73,700); phase 1 of the north potable water pump station upgrades ($390,000); water treatment plant filter gallery piping ($392,000); effluent irrigation system ($475,000); arena south access ramp ($50,000); and project pre-design and engineering for various projects ($492,000).
Machinery and equipment has been allocated $1,671,750, with major projects including computer hardware lifecycle replacement and software upgrades ($120,400, down from $168,000 in 2014); completion of computer-aided dispatch in the amount of $325,000; light duty maintenance and mowing equipment $224,350; annual water metre replacement program $250,000; curbside waste and recycle bins $645,000; and the remaining $107,000 made up of various energy efficiency projects funded from the franchise fee transfer.
Land improvement projects have been allocated $120,500, with major projects including cemetery continuous base $10,000; 50th Avenue sidewalk improvement $35,000; playground and bleacher upgrades $68,000, and M.D. trail extension pre-design and engineering for $7,500.
Vehicle projects have been allocated $869,000, with major life cycle replacements including a patrol car for $37,500; fire rescue truck replacement $500,000; automated side-load waste collection truck in the amount of $300,000; and a light-duty vehicle for $31,500.
In the area of capital reserves, the closing balance for 2015 is forecast at $5,688,311, with reserves estimated at $3,692,806 for 2016 and $3,765,698 for 2017.