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

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

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


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. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Alberta Budget Impact on the Crowsnest Pass

Just received the following information on the impact of the 2014 Alberta Budget on our municipal grants.

MSI Capital

2013  $1,735,945
2014    $1,771,588

MSI Operational 

2013  $194,163
2014   $131,924

Basic Municipal Transportation Grant 

2013  $333,900
2014  $333,900


2013  $2,264,008
2014  $2,237,412

Drop of $26,596

2013/2014 Budget and Consolidation of the Coleman/Blairmore Shops

I have received a number of calls regarding the following two issues.

1) The 2014 budget:

I'm sure that almost everybody is aware of the changes that we have gone through at the administrative level in the last four months.
The CAO we hired in mid December Sheldon Steinke has been working very hard to stay on top of the day to day operation of the municipality, deal with all the legacy issues we were left. In addition prepare the budget for 2014.
Keeping in mind that we will not have a Director of Finance and Public Works in place until at the earliest late April.
We had a budget preparation meeting on Feb 27, a Capital Budget meeting March 6, and will be dealing with the Operational Budget on March 22 in Council Chambers from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

If you would like to look at the 2013 budget in detail to get a sense of what the municipality brings in and spends on your behave you can by going to the following address http://www.crowsnestpass.com/public/download/documents/5563  start on Page 14 to 77 of the package.

2) Consolidation of the Coleman/Blairmore shops

I have been asked about the savings realized by the Municipality in consolidating the Coleman/Blairmore shops. I requested of our previous Public Works Director for the information that was used to justify consolidating the two shops, for a breakdown of the efficiency and dollar savings realized. The following is what was presented to council on Pages 81-82.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

School Enrollment in the Crowsnest Pass

After probably twenty years of declining school enrollment in the Crowsnest Pass I was very encouraged to read the following article in today's Nanton News from Rob Vogt:

Preliminary projections see declining school enrollment.  


It shows a decline of 4% in enrollment in the school district as a whole, with the exception of a few area's. One of those area's is the Crowsnest Pass where enrollment in our three schools is the following: 

"Crowsnest Pass
• Horace Allen School has 182.5 students, the same as the actual 182.5;
• Isabelle Sellon School has 128 students, up seven from the actual 121;
• Crowsnest Consolidated High School has 293 students, down nine from the actual 302;" 

Over all we only dropped by two students on a total of 605. 

Hopefully next year we will be seeing an increase. Good News.