Council approves capital budget

Rimbey town council has given the green light to a $1.96 capital budget.

Rimbey town council has given the green light to a $1.96 capital budget.

At its regular meeting Dec. 10, council unanimously approved the budget, which will see several projects completed next year including the northeast lagoon outlet at a cost of $300,000 and Highway 20 intersections that have a $337,171 price tag attached.

A total of $461,000 will be taken from the town’s reserves to cover the cost of capital projects and the remainder will come from grants.

Rimbey CAO Tony Goode said $800,000 will come from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant, a transportation grant and a federal gas tax. Approximately $995,000 has been carried forward from previous grants.

The amount of grants the town will allocate for specific projects will be finalized in the spring when the province gives its go-ahead. Grants not used this year will be carried forward to help cover next year’s projects.

Using reserves to cover some of the costs and approving the capital budget early gives council a head start on getting tenders out, said Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson.

“I don’t see using reserves as an issue because our reserves are healthy. Over the last two years they have increased and so we feel comfortable using some of them this year.”

Ibbotson said approving the budget early will pay off in the long run.

“We will save money by putting our tenders out early.”

Other capital projects include two kilometres of trails ($200,000), sidewalk replacements ($103,636) and 58th Ave – 48-45A St. ($328,273). Smaller projects include the curtain/berm/desludge/defuser repair, ($63,245) monitoring wells/drainage ($92,000), community centre air handling unit ($25,000), community centre washroom renovation ($60,000), street sweeper ($245,000), public works truck ($26,800), concrete crushing ($50,000), compactor truck ($12,000) backhoe ($110,000) mower ($9,000).

Ibbotson said there were no surprises in this year’s budget.

“There is always more to do than we have money for but the grants we have included in the budget are guaranteed and we have a good healthy reserve built up.”

During budget deliberations council considered a wish list of projects it would like to see completed but can’t afford. These include electronic signage, a BMX park, BMX track, dog park, grader and work on 51 and 52 Streets.

Goode said council plans to complete the operating budget in January and it could be finalized by the middle of the month.