Rimbey town councillors have opted to use last year’s $5.77 million operating budget as their interim budget.
At its Monday meeting council agreed to adopt that budget, instead of going with the 2015 draft budget of slightly under $5 million, until the assessments are received.
CAO Lucien Cloutier said there are several unknowns at this point, but the town needs to adopt an interim budget until the final operating budget is adopted to ensure uninterrupted operations.
“It’s basically status quo. What council has done is put any further process regarding the 2015 budget on hold, until such time as our assessment information has come in which won’t be until the new year when we get the requisitions. At that time, council will pick the discussion up and begin to take into consideration the assessment.”
Last year’s $5.77 million budget shows projected operating expenses of $5.6 million with $216,884 slated for reserves and $1.5 million to go towards capital expenditures.
Capital expenditures included a John Deere loader with a blower attachment which cost about $250,000 with a trade in of the town’s used backhoe.
Council has earmarked $200,000 to go towards the HVAC system at the community centre.
Money was also budgeted towards the spray park, drainage upgrades in the northeast part of town, upgrades to the water system on Hwy. 20 intersections by Super 8 and Rimbey Implements (a cost shared with Alberta Transportation).
Last year, taxpayers ended up paying about $58 more for their municipal taxes, which equated to about a 1.5 per cent increase in their taxes.
Commercial taxes also increased by 1.5 per cent.
Mayor Rick Pankiw is not prepared to predict the tax increase this year, noting it depends solely on how the assessments come in.