The approved multi-year capital and annual operating budget balances setting a reasonable tax rate with delivering the services and programs that residents and businesses expect.
Sturgeon County, AB – Sturgeon County Council has approved the 2023 operating and capital budgets that bring a 3.9 per cent tax rate increase, following five years of low or no increases.
“Each year, when balancing the budget, we have to make some tough decisions,” said Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “This year, we faced several budget challenges that meant supporting our current service levels required a tax increase. Council worked hard to prioritize spending and reduce the proposed increase down from 6.5 per cent to the 3.9 per cent before us today.”
This year, County Council was faced with added costs due to high inflation, continued downloading of costs from the Province for policing, and uncertainty surrounding grant funding from other orders of government. These costs and funding changes are outside of the County’s control. Council has carefully considered these financial pressures and balanced them with the importance of maintaining the services and programs that residents rely on.
Budget deliberations took place from November 23 to 24, 2022. On December 13, Council approved a multi-year capital budget that will see $76.7 million designated over three years for investment in the County’s transportation infrastructure through improvements to roads, bridges, and drainage, and over $5.5 million invested to build, maintain, and grow the County’s parks, trails, and green spaces. The operating budget includes the addition of a municipal enforcement officer, piloting improvements to rail crossings, and the addition of an online portal to apply for Development and Safety Code Permits that will speed up the permitting process for developments, construction, and inspections. Council also increased funding for several local non-profit organizations to help them cope with inflation.
“We are fortunate that the County is in a strong financial position, and we are operating within our means,” said Hnatiw. “In this budget, we are managing staffing levels, planning for road maintenance, and finding efficiencies that will improve the lives of our residents and make doing business with the County easier.”
The tax rate will impact the average Sturgeon County homeowner, with a property assessed at $492,000, with an increase of $72 per year, and businesses valued at $750,000, would see an increase of approximately $308 per year. Annual utility costs increased by $44, which equals $0.85 per week towards the services that county residents use on a daily basis.
For a full review of Sturgeon County’s 2023 Operating and Capital Budget and to watch a recording of the Budget deliberations, visit SturgeonCounty.ca/Budget.
- This year, the budget was informed by the public through an online Budget Survey where residents ranked strategic priorities for the County.
- There is a total of $116.5 million designated over three years for capital investment. This includes $76.7 million over three years for the County’s transportation infrastructure. The 2023 projects will total 22.6 million.
- In the approved three-year capital budget, significant infrastructure projects are planned, such as road rehabilitation work along Range Road 251 (including the internal roads at Cardiff Park), Lamoureux Drive, and Township Road 564 to Goose Hummock Golf Course. There is paving planned in the Woodridge Subdivision and road reconstruction along Township Road 554 and Boysdale Road/Riverside Park to the Sturgeon River.
- The final municipal tax rate for 2023 will be approved in April upon passing the 2023 tax rate bylaw, which will include requisitions for education and the seniors’ foundation. The County collects these taxes on behalf of the Province.