Budget ready for public input

Rimbey’s good news/bad news budget will be up for discussion at a public meeting, April 3 at the community centre.

Rimbey’s good news/bad news budget will be up for discussion at a public meeting, April 3 at the community centre.

The budget, which contains a nugget or two of bad news, will see municipal and commercial taxes going up. However the increase in municipal taxes will be 1.5 per cent, and the average tax bill will show only about a $31 increase.

CAO Tony Goode said this year’s tax increase is lower than last year, when residents faced a 2.5-per-cent jump, paying almost $52 more on their tax bill.

Commercial taxes in Rimbey this year have increased by 2.55 per cent and an average commercial tax bill will show an increase of about $258.34.

Goode said the increase is due to assessed values of commercial property, which have gone up by almost 30 per cent since 2008.

Assistant CAO Melissa Beebe said according to 2012 figures, Rimbey is sitting on the lower end of the tax scale in comparison to the communities of Hanna, Carstairs, Gibbons and Sundre, with only the community of Gibbons coming in at a lower rate.

Both Carstairs and Rimbey are looking at 1.5-per-cent increase this year, and Sundre has a projected 4.12-per-cent increase planned.

Rimbey’s 2013 draft $6.170 million budget shows expenditures of $5 million leaving a healthy surplus of $797,000.

Last year the town budgeted expenditures of $5.1 million and had a surplus of approximately $94,717.

Goode said the town is looking at a school requisition of $810,699, a 4.95-per-cent jump from last year. On the other hand, the Rimoka Housing Foundation requisition barely changed, increasing only by 0.75 per cent to $32,502.

The town plans to be busy this year, completing infrastructure projects including the east portion of 58th Avenue from 48 to 45A Street where the sewer line will be relined and the road repaired.

From 53rd Avenue to 52nd Street the water, sewer, road and sidewalk, curb and gutter will be repaired from 53rd Avenue to 52nd Street.

These projects are funded through MSI funding and a basic municipal transportation grant.

The town’s backhoe will be replaced through the water and sewer reserve fund.

Council has allocated $200,000 for recreation projects including trails, the air handling unit upgrader and the community centre washroom renovations.

More than $100,000 has been allocated for sidewalk repair.

The budget meeting will be begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday.