Saturday, April 12, 2014

Recognition, Entertainment, and putting the Pass on the map all in one week.

What a great week in the Crowsnest Pass:

Wednesday night the municipality in conjunction with the FCSS board hosted the Volunteer recognition night, there was a packed house the meal was catered by Chris's restaurant and entertainment was provided by a group of four young guys named "Hoja" who put on an excellent show that appealed to all age groups. Three people were recognized for their volunteer efforts by receiving the Order of the Crowsnest Pass presented by Mayor Painter. Long time volunteers Margaret Stolk and Margaret Ann Woodward shared the award and Kiana Miskulin received the Order of the Crowsnest Pass Outstanding Youth award.

Friday night the Polish Hall in Coleman hosted the CBC show "Of all places" more great entertainment, the comedian Johnny Harris and his two colleagues had the crowd laughing from the beginning to the end. What was really impressive was that they spent the week here not just visiting the Pass but actually learning about the Pass and some of it's people. Which was very evident by the way Mr Harris built so much of what he learnt into his material.
I will find out when the show will be televised great opportunity to put the Crowsnest Pass on the map.

Saturday we have the Turning Pointe Dance Studio putting on their annual Festival of the Stars two shows the first at 2pm and the second at 6pm. Come up to the MDM and catch some great entertainment provided by the very talented youth of our community.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Crowsnest Pass Budget down to the wire.

First reading of the mill rate bylaw was passed on April 1, second and third reading are scheduled for April 15.

Highlights:

Salaries and wages increased by 3% (collective agreement with CUPE effective Jan 1st) additional cost of $164,000.

Municipal Insurance costs increased by $31,000..

MSI operational funding dropped by $60,000

Property tax base dropped by 2.1%

General Municipal Taxation for 2014 will be $6,921,689 versus $6,681,111 for 2013

We will be spending $633,700 on capital, which will include the following:

Two pickups for operations $68,000
Two wheel loaders $375,000
Wastewater Inspection camera $11,700
Renovations Coleman Seniors Centre $19,000
Swimming Pool Conceptual Design $15,000
Albert Stella Memorial Arena Renovations Scope $35,000
Dressing Room Addition Roof Sports Complex $50,000
Server Upgrades and desk computer replacements $60,000

Reserves will be increased this year by $290,500 versus $240,666 in 2013

Franchise Fees will not increase this year.

Utilities will increase by 4.6%

Legal Fees in 2013 were budgeted at $15,000 actual cost was $156,431 budget for 2014 is $140,000.

Ski Hill manager eliminated savings of $61,000 a year also revenue for 2014 was decreased by $58,000, 2013 budget was $252,710 with actual revenue of $187,418.

Peace Officer reduced to one position effective May 1st, administration informed council that most communities only have one position for a population of 5500.

Ag Services grants decreased by $30,000.

Upgrades to municipal utilities:

$30,000 to the Electrical system
$24,000 on the water system
$58,000 on the wastewater system
$12,000 for garbage collection bins and Eco recycling

Economic Development will bring in revenue of $183,000 from various conditional grants.

Personnel requirements:

2013 budget allowed for 54 full time positions, 3319 hours of overtime, and 45,214 hours of casual employment.

2014 budget allows for 54.75 full time positions, 2858 hours of overtime, and 37,650 hours of casual employment.

Note: The town rounder position was counted in the casual hours last year, it is now a full time position, overtime hours have decreased by 461 hours and casual hours are reduced by 5499 hours after allowing for the town rounder hours from last year.

Debt:

The municipality will assume debt of $1,672,500 to construct a new Clarifier at the Frank wastewater plant subject to approval of $3,327,500 in grant funding from the province.  

The municipality will assume debt of $343,000 to upgrade the Sentinel Water Treatment plant, administration as proposed that this debt, will be financed by the owners of the properties in the Sentinel area under a Local Improvement program (Property owners will get to vote on this).

The payment on the $1,672,500 over 10 years would be $190,200 per year.

2014 we will pay $480,000 on debt payments, and roughly the same amount next year which will almost clear up all existing debt.   



Keep in mind the mill rate can be amended by a majority vote of council on either second or third reading. 

Well deserved Kudo's to the CAO, the administration staff we do have, and the hourly employee's who put a lot of effort into getting this budget in place. 
Personally I would have liked to have dug a lot deeper into this budget and the various areas that drive the numbers but unfortunately not having a finance officer in place since November and no Public Works Director for almost the same time frame made things very difficult.  
I do believe that the 2015 budget process will be much more efficient than what we just went through.  

KRA Rodeo in the Crowsnest Pass

image

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Notes from 2014 Budget Process Crowsnest Pass

Budget Update for 2014 from Saturday March 22

2014 Salaries and Wages 3% Increase
Employee Benefits 5% Increase
Insurance Costs 12% Increase

Assessment Base total 2.1% drop
Market values actually dropped 3.6%
But there was 1.5% of new growth

Taxes and Fees
Franchise Fees Zero Increase
Property Tax 3% Increase
Utilities 5% Increase

Positions
CPO reduced to one position as of May 1
New position of Manager of Corporate Affairs
(Primary duties HR)

Equipment
Equipment Purchases  (3) Light duty Trucks $96,000
Wheel Loader (1) $175,000
Sidewalk Maintenance Machine (1) $141,000

Infrastructure Upgrades
Frank Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade-New Clarifier
Cost $5,000,000 Grants $3,327,500 Debt $1,672,500
Sentinel Water Treatment Plant Operational Upgrade
Cost $495,000  Grants $152,000  Debt $343,000
SCADA Upgrades Cost $797,500  Grants $797,500
Bellevue Hillcrest Lagoons-Swamp Drain Restoration
Cost $575,000  Grants $575,000
Wastewater Collection Systems Video Inspection
Cost $39,500 Grants $39,500


Next Budget Meeting March 28 1 pm in Council Chambers



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Garbage Pickup in back alleys Crowsnest Pass

Municipal Press Release regarding garbage pickups in back alleys:
The Municipality appreciates the patience of those residents who have experienced delays in garbage pick-up due to the large snow fall accumulation this winter, which unfortunately, has rendered some alleys impassable for the garbage trucks.  In order to alleviate the garbage situation, the Municipality has made arrangements with CNP Waste Disposal to pick up all accumulated garbage from those areas on the front street rather than impassable alleyways.  
We are requesting that those residents who need to temporarily have garbage pickup moved to the front street, please place your garbage on the front street on your regularly scheduled garbage day.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

You would be amazed!

The province of Alberta just released salary disclosure on all provincial employee's making more than $100,000 a year.

Available at http://alberta.ca/SalaryDisclosure.cfm 639 pages with 10 names per page.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Crowsnest Pass Road Conditions

ROAD CONDITIONS UPDATE

The Municipality would like to thank residents for their patience regarding the state of the roads in our community. As everyone is no doubt aware, the high temperatures over the weekend have caused thick slush and water run off throughout the community. The Operations Department is making every effort to clean the streets as expediently as possible. We had 3 Operations staff out on Friday evening, 5 working on Saturday, 8 staff working on Sunday and our full complement out today. Further, this morning we are experiencing extreme icy conditions and residents are asked to exercise extreme caution. If you have any immediate concerns please contact Operations at (403) 563-2220.

It looks like a lot of communities got hit with this on the weekend, Kudo's to everybody that worked hard to look after our streets. The number above goes straight to public works so if you are still experiencing problems give them a call.