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Town passes rolling budgets for 2018, 2019

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Taber Times

By Trevor Busch
Taber Times
tbusch@tabertimes.com

The Town of Taber has passed operating budgets for 2018 and 2019 as part of a rolling three-year budget program, but will still require twin reserve transfers of $600,000 to bring both up to a balanced status.

According to administration, one of the key concepts of the rolling budget format is to allow managers in charge of different costing centres to carry forward surpluses from the prior year, as well as allowing managers with larger deficits from prior years the opportunity to make up the difference in future years. The 2017 operating budget was passed on Nov. 28, 2016.

“Budgets are complex creatures, and have to be judged and evaluated in a larger context and seen as a plan that does not stop at year’s end,” said Mayor Henk DeVlieger, reading from a prepared statement prior to discussion at council’s March 13 regular meeting. “Budgets overlap from one year into the next in order to have a steady flow of projects and long-term goals that have to be accomplished, and that may not be finished by the year end.”

Total revenues are projected at $22,062,983 (2018) and $22,237,696 (2019), while total expenditures are estimated at $27,059,004 (2018) and $27,246,535 (2019). Cash deficits for each year are projected at $699,896 (2018) and $712,714 (2019). For 2018, tax revenues are projected at $11,131,753, while for 2019, they are estimated at $11,345,538.

While technically balanced, administration noted this had only been achieved for the 2018 and 2019 operating budgets through reserve transfers of $600,000 for each respective year, although the full amount may not be required depending on a number of complicated financial factors that may impact budgeted estimates, such as land sales, fine revenues, and departmental efficiencies.

“I believe that that the proposed 2018 and 2019 budgets are fair and responsible,” continued DeVlieger. “There are a number of unknown revenue factors that are not factored in these two budgets, such as special grants, unknown property sales, lower tenders, new innovations, and others. They can have a positive effect to lower or eliminate the budgeted $600,000 from reserves in these two budgets. History has proven that this is a good possibility.”

Departmentally, total expenses for council are expected to come in at $981,130 (2018) and $970,936 (2019). For the CAO, revenues are pegged at $46,000 (2018 and 2019), while expenses will come in at $717,536 (2018) and $762,752 (2019). Under finance and customer care, revenues are estimated at $115,100 (2018 and 2019), while expenses are expected to be $914,705 (2018) and $929,342 (2019).

In the Internet technology department, revenues are pegged at $11,000 (2018 and 2019), while expenses are expected to be $654,635 (2018) and $656,279 (2019). In health and safety, revenues have been projected at $28,500 (2018 and 2019), while expenses come in at $60,964 (2018) and $66,725 (2019).
For police, revenues are pegged at $1,269,792 (2018) and $1,270,802 (2019), while expenses are estimated at $3,544,758 (2018) and $3,582,366 (2019). Of those expenses, some $2,861,308 (2018) and $2,897,236 (2019) is for salaries, wages and benefits. For the fire department, total revenues are projected at $53,215 (2018) and $53,902 (2019), while expense estimates come in at $917,974 (2018) and $934,092 (2019).

In public works, revenues are expected to be $9,500 (2018 and 2019), with expenses of $3,826,198 (2018) and $3,628,932 (2019). Stormwater expects revenues of $390,000 (2018 and 2019) with expenses of $559,858 (2018) and $565,313 (2019). Water is expected to post revenues of $3,328,640 (2018 and 2019), while expenses have been pegged at $2,138,418 (2018) and $2,171,347 (2019). In wastewater, total revenues have been set at $2,140,000 (2018 and 2019), while expenses are projected at $3,094,484 (2018) and $3,119,915 (2019).

For solid waste and recycling, total revenues are projected at $1,968,660 (2018) and $1,980,536 (2019), while expenses are pegged at $1,824,034 (2018) and $1,852,323 (2019). Planning and development will see revenues of $422,620 (2018 and 2019), with expenses of $797,316 (2018) and $750,856 (2019). In administrative services, revenues are estimated at $439,676 (2018) and $461,974 (2019), with expenses at $1,099,165 (2018) and $1,138,809 (2019).
Recreation revenues are showing $822,682 (2018) and $839,631 (2019), with expenses of $3,372,323 (2018) and $3,593,373 (2019).

At their March 13 regular meeting, town council voted unanimously to adopt operating budgets for 2018 and 2019, continuing a three-year rolling budget, with a review of the 2017 operating budget to be performed in December 2017.

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