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At the January 21st, 2020 Council Meeting, the Town of Slave Lake Council unanimously voted to approve Budget 2020: Investing in our Community, Investing in our Residents.
With the approval of the Budget, Mayor Tyler Warman has released this message about the passing of the 2020 Town of Slave Lake Budget.
Budget 2020 was officially passed by Council on January 21, 2020, and I am excited to show you how things ended up.
First off, we are always up against inflation (this year it is projected to be just under 3%), and this year, while budget consultations were starting, we received news that there was going to be some downloading from the provincial government, which left us wondering how we were going to fund the budget with the least impact to you the tax payer.
Council knows we have to keep things running, keep things moving ahead and show value to our rate payers. Council also has a strong desire to support and grow the economy, support business, grow industry and generally put some more confidence in the work place. As a result this year, the Town of Slave Lake will invest $250,000 into Economic Development. Additionally we intend to invest 13.7 Million dollars in projects, which will put more money into our parks, start some initial upgrades to the pool, invest in the Multi-Rec Centre, purchase a new Zamboni, replace aging equipment for snow removal, improve water quality and invest in a project to do a better job looking after our waste.
We will also continue fixing roads, continue with our goal to clean up old run-down buildings, make some repairs to some of our other municipal buildings and most importantly maintain service levels. While we invest in our community, Council will continue to advocate for better healthcare, and more tools to help combat crime reduction.
Now, the biggest question you must have is what is this going to cost you. I’ll let you know the increase in budget approved was 1.5%. When we started this year budget consultations we were looking at an increase of up to 5%. So how did we lower that to 1.5%? First we asked administration to bring us a 0% increase which helped as a starting point. Council also looked at our reserves, and said if there was ever a time to use our reserves it would be now. We also used the remaining unspent Economic Development funds from 2019. We also looked at our franchise fees that had not been touched since 2010.
Additionally we made some staff reductions and also decided to manage some projects and pieces ourselves instead of farming them out. It will be more work, but in the long game it will save the town some money.
I want to thank our staff for carrying the burden of asking them to do more. I also want to thank my council for putting in the time to get us to this point and having the vision to want to do more for this Region.
If you want more details, they are provided in the following pages and we look forward to your thoughts and ideas that will continue to make Slave Lake a great place to visit, live and do business!