By Trevor Busch
Grappling with the cost-cutting repercussions of the provincial government’s Oct. 24 budget has ground municipal budget deliberations to a standstill as administration analyzes the implications to the town’s bottom line.
At town council’s Oct. 28 meeting, finance director John Orwa introduced the Town of Taber’s 2020 amended and 2021-2023 proposed operating budgets, as well as the 2020 amended and 2021-2024 draft capital budgets.
Orwa would make a brief presentation on his initial analysis of the UCP’s recent provincial budget before requesting time to make a more in depth study with an eye toward amending the present municipal budgets to include the implications from Oct. 24.
“What they were explaining was very high level, talking about a few numbers, but now we’re going to see how that impacts municipalities,” said Orwa. “What is the trickle down effect when it comes to Taber?”
In his presentation, Orwa touched on reductions in Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grants to municipalities, an overall 2.8 per cent reduction in provincial government spending, and the province targeting a much higher percentage of fine revenue (26.7 per cent increased to 40 per cent) which could impact the town’s police budget.
Town council would agree to table both budgets until the Nov. 12 meeting to allow Orwa to make a more detailed review of the provincial budget’s ramifications.