Council working on budget

By TREENA MIELKE

The Town of Rimbey’s 2011 budget should be finalized by late next month or early March.

Rimbey’s chief administrative officer, Tony Goode, said council is now going through the process of preparing this year’s budget and has agreed to adopt the 2010 operating budget as an interim budget.

Goode said this year’s budget will include a two percent increase in expenses.

“I have no idea how that will equate to taxes at this point,” he added.

He noted there has been no increase in the mill rate for a number of years and extra tax dollars have been available through the town’s increased tax base.

“Extra tax money has come through growth —Rimbey has experienced consistent growth in the last few years.”

The town has also received additional revenue through new or upgraded facilities that resulted in higher assessments, he noted.

Part of this year’s budgeting process is meeting with groups who request financial assistance from the town.

“Before council approves the budget, they want to meet with the groups to discuss what they are asking for,” he said.

Meeting with the groups personally is one of the ways council is striving for more transparency in all of their dealings, the CAO said.

Rezoning request presented

At its regular meeting Jan. 12, council agreed to amend a rezoning bylaw from low density family residential to high density family residential dividing properties at 5611 51 Street and 5041 57 Avenue into separate sections. Council will make a decision regarding both sections during its Jan. 26 council meeting.

At a public hearing prior to Jan. 12 meeting council received written submissions from some residents who were not in favor of the bylaw.

The letters stated an increase in traffic and noise, a decrease in aesthetic appeal, property values and the erosion of the appeal of a quiet neighbourhood as reasons for council to refuse the application.

Three-way stop to be installed

At its meeting, council agreed to install three-way stop signs at Drader Crescent and 56 Avenue in response to complaints about speeding traffic. The stop signs will be installed as soon as possible.