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October 28, 2020 October 28, 2020

Town of Taber releases operating budget breakdown

Posted on December 25, 2019 by Taber Times

By Trevor Busch
Taber Times
tbusch@tabertimes.com

With the 2020 operating budget passed in November, the Town of Taber has released a more detailed document which breaks down the departmental numbers for the municipality.

Total revenues will ring in at $24,702,162, with expenses higher at $29,493,172, and is considered balanced when factoring in amortization of $4,791,010. Net taxes come in at $9,497,218, while on the expense side of the equation, salaries, wages and benefits will cost taxpayers $11,327,186 in 2020. Total revenues in the 2019 amended operating budget (approved by council in May) came in at $24,400,174, while total amended expenses rang in at $24,525,459. The 2019-2020 operating budgets (without subsequent amendments) were originally approved in January by a 4-3 split vote of council.

Included following the 2020 operating budget numbers for most departments are the figures from the town’s 2019 departmental budget narratives (it should be noted that in some cases these numbers were subject to significant change following council deliberation in December 2019, and have only been included for comparative purposes).

For 2020, the Recreation Department shows total revenues of $885,853, with expenses of $4,152,508. Salaries, wages and benefits will make up $1,872,083 of the department’s expenses on the year. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Recreation was projecting total revenues of $845,822, with total expenses of $3,757,738.

In the CAO Department, there is $50,000 in revenues and $841,660 in expenses. Salaries, wages and benefits will make up $463,393 of the department’s expenses. In its 2019 operating budget narrative, the Chief Administrative Officer Department was projecting $46,000 in total revenues. Total expenses were expected to be $780,320. Administrative Services is displaying $274,245 in revenues, with $1,230,339 in expenses. Salaries, wages and benefits will cost $749,845 in 2020. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Administrative Services was projecting total revenues of $333,148, with total expenses of $1,194,848. For 2020, Council has zero revenues with expenses of $1,076,351. Salaries, wages and benefits will make up $214,264 of the department’s expenses on the year. Legislative Services (Council) projected zero revenues in its 2019 operating budget narrative, with total expenses ringing in at $1,058,800.

The Taber Police Service is taking in $1,237,004 in revenues with annual expenses now nearly topping $4 million, at $3,929,651. Of that figure, salaries, wages and benefits make up $3,128,400. Total expenses for the police in 2020 exceed most other departments with the exception of Recreation, including Public Works ($3,735,356) and Wastewater ($3,113,535). In its 2019 operating budget narrative, the Taber Police Service was projecting total revenues of $1,221,565, with total expenses of $3,711,399. With the Taber Fire Department, revenues are shown at $228,245, with expenses of $1,001,908. Salaries, wages and benefits ring in at $508,351. In its 2019 operating budget narrative the Taber Fire Department was projecting total revenues of $45,300, with total expenses of $915,944.

For 2020, Finance and Customer Care shows total revenues of $15,100, with expenses of $1,095,246. Salaries, wages and benefits will make up $842,412 of the department’s expenses on the year. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Finance and Customer Care was projecting total revenues of $115,600 annually with total expenses of $987,370.

In the Solid Waste and Recycling Department, there is $2,544,646 in revenues, with $1,867,544 in expenses. Salaries, wages and benefits will make up $296,047 of the department’s expenses. Stormwater is displaying $414,180 in revenues, with $505,039 in expenses. Salaries, wages and benefits will cost $50,774 in 2020. Water is taking in $3,431,790 in revenues with annual expenses now $2,080,460. Of that figure, salaries, wages and benefits make up $385,335. With the Wastewater Department, revenues are shown at $2,057,050, with expenses of $3,113,534. Salaries, wages and benefits ring in at $681,274.

In the Public Works Department, there is $9,500 in revenues, with $3,735,356 in expenses. Salaries, wages and benefits will make up $1,359,493 of the department’s expenses. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Engineering and Public Works was projecting total revenues of $9,500 annually with total expenses of $3,700,052.

Health and Safety is displaying zero revenues, with $108,988 in expenses. Salaries, wages and benefits will cost $84,068 in 2020. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Health and Safety was projecting total revenues of $28,500 with total expenses of $76,473. IT is taking in $11,000 in revenues with annual expenses now $772,871. Of that figure, salaries, wages and benefits make up $290,715. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Information Technology was projecting total revenues of $11,000 with total expenses of $681,233.

With the Planning and Development Department, revenues are shown at $530,554, with expenses of $914,270. Salaries, wages and benefits ring in at $400,732. In its 2019 operating budget narrative Planning and Economic Development was projecting total revenues of $420,120 annually with total expenses of $736,282.

Administration balanced the 2020 operating budget by a five per cent reduction in council remuneration, reducing the deficit by $11,133, and lowering the number of officials originally planned for the trip to Japan in 2020 from three to one, thus saving the town $11,000. There will also be a reduction of $50,000 to the Council Discretionary Fund.

Over $200,000 in budget cuts came from the reduction of expenses in various departments, including a freeze in management wage step increases and employee training, travel and conferences. While the reduction required was $221,000, administration proposed an overall reduction of $278,000. The excess reduction in the amount of $57,000 can be contributed to capital reserves or passed onto residents as a decrease in tax rate once property assessments are finalized in April – May 2020.

Under Alberta’s Municipal Government Act, municipalities are not allowed to budget for a deficit and total actual revenues over a four-year period must be equal to or greater than total actual expenditures.

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