Clive village council debated their interim operating budget that proposes a three per cent property tax increase for 2024. The interim budget was discussed at the Nov. 27 regular meeting of council.

Councillors heard a detailed report on the interim 2024 operating budget from Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney, who stated she drew up the budget to include the property tax increase, adding that the village was facing several increases and unknowns that it doesn’t have any control over.

Kenney stated the village is due for a computer upgrade in 2024, staff will be working a few more days in the village office, the dog tag fee is going up, the village will once again try to hire a summer student to help work around the village in 2024 plus other expenditures.

Kenney further stated money will be set aside for an equipment replacement master plan. An increase is expected for water service to cover scheduled projects.

Sewer fees are expected to go up by three per cent while garbage fees are expected to go up by two per cent.

The CAO also noted a new contract for planning contractor Parkland Community Planning Services may have an effect on the budget, while the village is also looking forward to a major capital project, fencing of the baseball diamonds, with a price tag of about $45,000.

Coun. Sarah Fahey stated the interim budget appeared fair to all, didn’t appear to have any weaknesses and stated she was happy to see the baseball diamonds are being fenced. She also added that a three per cent property tax increase was reasonable.

The CAO pointed out the three per cent tax increase was the total increase.

Kenney clarified in an email to the ECA Review Nov. 30 the increase is a projection right now based on information on hand. 

“The budget projects a three per cent increase in property tax revenue which is required to meet our municipal obligations,” stated Kenney. “The additional revenue will be achieved as a combination of assessment increase and the property tax rate.”

Councillors unanimously accepted the interim budget as information, which will return to a December council meeting for adoption.

American style?

While discussing a document from the Alberta Municipalities Association (AMA) listing possible changes to the Municipal Government Act (MGA), councillors voiced opposition to one proposed change to the law that governs local governments: The Government of Alberta asked municipalities if they liked the idea of adding political party affiliation to local councils.

Such a dividing line is common in the United States as mayors, councils and sometimes even judges declare themselves for certain political parties.

Coun. Tracy Hallman stated she opposed the idea and made a motion that Clive council send a formal letter opposing the suggestion.

Mayor Lucy Henry agreed, stating municipalities should remain non-partisan in order to represent the entire community and avoid divisions, including at the council table.

Henry stated an absence of political parties in local government also suggests municipalities may work better with upper levels of government.

Other changes proposed for the MGA include advance voting, making voter lists available to candidates, rules for postponement of elections, ability to vouch for electors without identification, use of special ballots and using runoff elections for the office of mayor or reeve.

Councillors unanimously agreed to write a letter opposing political party affiliation on municipal councils.

Library budget

Councillors read a draft 2024 budget for the Clive Library; the CAO noted village council only has to approve the part of the budget Clive provides.

Kenney noted the library was proposing a modest increase for 2024, upping Clive’s contribution to $5,370.56.

Councillors unanimously approved the library’s draft budget.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 07, 2023 at 10:27

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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