In accordance with Municipal Government Act (MGA), the Town of Peace River approved two long-term plans to help the municipality plan for the future at its regular meeting on Dec. 11.

“The Province mandates that each municipality does a 3-year operating plan and a 5-year capital plan,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“Realistically, each single year that year’s budget is approved but councils need to plan ahead for major work projects including determining how they will be funded which is a multi-year planning process.”

The plans help municipalities look at long-term projects that need to be completed, helping them to organize resources and make timelines to help look at a way to complete the tasks. The plans assume that municipal requisition and utility revenues have annual increases (inflationary), that there are no material changes to service levels, and many of the expenses are based on 2024 budget figures.

“It makes the municipality look ahead and plan for maintenance, new capital and operating projects as well as operating service levels,” says Manzer, adding the plans have to be redone each year in accordance with MGA.

“Some of the planning that the Town will be doing include an overall asset management plan which includes a study of the pool and its infrastructure and also includes plans for reservoirs and wastewater plants as well as others that are ongoing such as neighborhood improvement plans,” she adds.

“Some of the planning includes engineering and studies to get projects to the shovel ready stages, so if a suitable grant stream opens, that the Town can be ready to apply for the grant to alleviate costs to the town taxpayers.”

Manzer says there are a number of projects that people always are curious about in terms of completion timelines. The two plans help council address concerns that need to be addressed.

“I get many questions about the hot tub and pool slide projects that many are eagerly awaiting the new attractions at the pool,” says Manzer. “The Baytex is another facility that is appreciated by recreationalists as well as the Family Resource Network’s programs. I look forward to decisions on another new reservoir that will help serve the north end of Peace River and to fewer water breaks when some new pipes are installed.”

Manzer says she is looking forward to the completion of the Neighborhood Infrastructure Program in
the area behind the Co-op.

“Lots of projects, planning and funding are the issues,” says Manzer, adding that having these long-term plans can help council decide which project takes precedence and where to get resources from.

“One major capital item that is complete is the purchasing of the new fire aerial apparatus truck which saw immediate use with a bridge rescue.”

By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter South Peace News –

Original Published on Jan 03, 2024 at 08:35

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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