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.


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.


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.  


Jim said...

Dean, can you explain why we have so many hours budgeted for overtime. Not sure why we need that many.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

A good chunk of that overtime would have already occurred, keeping in mind that our financial year runs from Jan 1st to Dec 31st.
It would be for such things as snow clearing, water line breaks, staff in the office working extra hours for year end and budget.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the figures. Can you elaborate on the pool and Albert Stella? Conceptual design of what? Fixing the old worn out one or a new outdoor or Indoor one?

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed in this council . When the previous council was adding staff to the office you all yelled and screamed that this was so wrong. And now with the opportunity to do something about it you do nothing. Reality is that you did not cut even 1 member of that so called bloated administrative staff.( the ski hill manager and the peace officer do not count as administrative)
You guys also complained loudly about franchise fee hikes and yet they remain the same.
You guys complained about utility hikes and these are actually being raised.
Where did the money go for the cancelled Rum Runners day? Did this money get wasted by adding it to the Hillcrest mine disaster gala?
I guess that like all politicians you guys are no different. All talk until you get elected then you lose your nerve and are afraid to make the tough choices that you promised in your election campaigns. SAD!!

Anonymous said...

Dean this is the key statement in your post "Keep in mind the mill rate can be amended by a majority vote of council on either second or third reading." will any of the numbers change?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dean, previous council created run-away legal cost for our small community. Totally out of proportions from what they faced. Will this council bring some common sense to the table and stop burning money on lawyers?

Crowsnest Pass Home said...


In this day and age disagreements between two parties often get thrown in to the hands of lawyers.
The unfortunate part of that is it usually costs more to pay the lawyers than it would have, to just resolve the issues in the first place.
Never the less the outstanding issues have to be resolved, there are many ways to do that. We have to be willing to look at different options.
If we are not prepared to try and resolve these issues, and choose to go the legal route. I have no idea what we will do if we loose in the courts.

Anonymous said...

Are you setting aside 250 k for the York creek lodge expansion?
Why are we spending money on a drawing for a swimming pool. Are we planning on building a pool or are we just wasting money.
50k to repair a roof, are you guys sure you are getting the best value you can on this. I did my house roof for around 5k, is that dressing room 10 times bigger than your average house.

Anonymous said...

deja vue.

Anonymous said...

They have to rebuild the roof not repair.That is why the cost is 50k.

Anonymous said...

This may not be the correct forum to voice my opinion but I will anyway. Why are so many engines and staff dispatched to fire and cleanup calls. Really? Do they need to send 10 or 12 for a minor cleanup? Almost all fire calls are false alarms but they all go anyway. More fire fighters are dispatched than in the city...its a joke. I know there might be traffic control but they must be falling over each other.

Anonymous said...

EDMONTON - The rotten deal on taxes that Alberta’s towns and cities now have should be changed in coming negotiations with the provincial government.
When it comes to inequities, there are few bigger than Alberta’s industrial tax rip off, the unfair distribution of $1.6 billion per year in industrial taxes, which mainly comes from oil and gas pipelines, transmission lines and petrochemical and oil and gas plants.

In a nutshell, the problem is that even though our major industries are regional, they don’t pay taxes to a region, they pay it to the specific county or municipality where the industries are located.

Let’s say you live in a small town in rural Alberta — and the rip off hits such towns harder than anywhere else — and you have an oil and gas plant across the highway. Almost everyone who works at the plant lives in your town. Their families use town roads, sewers and rec centres, but if the highway is the boundary between the town and the county, the county gets all the lucrative tax revenue from the plant, the town none of it.