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Town looking at various recreation funding levels

Posted on January 17, 2018 by Taber Times

By Trevor Busch
Taber Times
tbusch@tabertimes.com

Town council has ordered administration to initiate a study of recreational funding levels between urban and rural municipalities in Western Canada.

“I’d just like to know if the rest of council has an appetite to have administration do a comparative analysis of like-sized communities on percentage of revenue versus cost between towns and M.D.’s of similar-sized communities,” said Coun. Joe Strojwas, speaking during the council requests portion of the Dec. 18 regular meeting. “The background of this, attending the IDP (Intermunicipal Development Plan) meeting and a councillor there had asked some questions, not sure about costs and what not back and forth between the different municipalities.”

In the past, the Municipal District of Taber’s percentage of funding contributions for town facilities and recreation has often been a target of criticism among elected officials, who have argued the M.D. should be doing more to assist the town with funding and maintaining these types of facilities considering their shared use between citizens of both municipalities.

“I think it’s prudent for us, we’ve got new councillors on both sides, and I think this information would benefit both the town and the M.D., and let us know how we sit with other towns and M.D.’s as a comparison as far as what the M.D.’s are supporting as far as recreation and cultural facilities,” continued Strojwas.

CAO Cory Armfelt asked for the request to be approved by a majority of council rather than an informal direction.

“Certainly we can do that research for council. I’d like that in a motion, to insure that we’re acting on behalf of all of council.”

Following discussion, council voted unanimously to direct administration to compare recreational, arts, and cultural support between urban municipalities and their rural counterparts for comparison beside municipalities in Alberta and Western Canada. Strojwas was absent from the meeting, but participated in the proceedings via teleconference call.

Additional Capital Projects: Recreation

The following budget approvals were passed by town council during the Dec. 18 regular meeting.

1) Auditorium Facility Lighting Upgrade (2018)
Budgeted: $75,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from the Energy Conservation Reserve.

2) LED Sign 50th Street (2018)
Budgeted: $120,000
Status: Council voted 6-1 to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves. Coun. Joe Strojwas opposed the motion.

3) Walking Trail – Trail Head Signage (2018)
Budgeted: $10,000
Status: Not approved/deferred

4) Trout Pond Phase 2 (2018)
Budgeted: $500,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to advance the project from the 2019 capital budget to 2018, with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

5) Trout Pond Phase 3 (2019)
Budgeted: $300,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to advance the project from the 2020 capital budget to 2019, with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

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