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Council gives green light to capital budget

After extensive time spent number crunching and brain storming, Rimbey town council has passed its 2016 $2.356 million capital budget.

After extensive time spent number crunching and brain storming, Rimbey town council has passed its 2016 $2.356 million capital budget.

Council unanimously passed the budget at its Jan. 25 budget meeting.

Mayor Rick Pankiw calls this year’s budget “responsible and aggressive.

“We had to make some tough decisions and we had to prioritize. There’s always a wish list, but we had to stay within our means.”

A new roof for the community centre and a water well study and preparation for a new well are big ticket items in the budget.

Phase 1 of a new water well study and construction will cost $607,250. A total of 60.51 per cent is to come from government funding, but the grant has not yet been confirmed. The grant, if approved, will account for $361,380 of the project.

Interim CAO Donna Tona said a new well is needed, but a comprehensive in-depth study needs to be completed to determine the best place for it.

“We need to determine that the aquifer is sound and we are following environmental guidelines.”

Phase 2 of the project is to be completed in 2017 and is estimated to cost $1.6 million.

A new roof estimated to cost $385,000 for the Peter Lougheed Community Centre is also included in the capital project this year.

Tenders are going out immediately for the roof project, said Tona.

Mayor Pankiw said the new roof is an unexpected expense, but it is very much needed. Council is hopeful Ponoka County will contribute 50 per cent of the cost.

“They have said they will consider it during their budget deliberations and we are grateful for that,” said Tona. “They are a good big brother.”

Sidewalk replacements will count for $200,000 in this year’s budget. A total of $279,300 will go to asphalt overlay on 50 Street from 52nd Ave. to 56 Ave. A total of $137,700 will go into asphalt overlay on 49 Street from 52 Ave. to 54 Ave.

Funding ($68,700) will go towards 49 Street reconstruction from 49 Ave. to 50 Ave.

Pankiw is pleased to see the funding go into overlay, noting in the past much of the dollars on infrastructure went into repairs.

“We fell behind with overlay.”

Council will spend $10,000 on a slide pump for the aquatic centre, $5,000 for a hot tub replacement motor and $5,000 to complete renovations of the family change room floors.

No funding will be spend on the splash park.

“The splash park is irreparable in its current state,” said Tona.

This year’s budget will see $9,000 go towards clay, gravel and cement blocks for the marshal area at the compost site.

“This is in direct response to input from senior residents,” said Tona. “Now they can take their bags and dump them on the marshalling area and we will load them into the bin.”

The lights in the main auditorium at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre will be replaced with LED lights at a cost of $33,000.

Other capital projects include: new computers for the town office ($10,000), phone system upgrade for all town sites, ($31,000) new tandem ($70,000), two-way radios ($7,000) and public works shop upgrades ($16,000).

It also includes main water reservoir/pump house upgrades ($75,000), fencing around recycle bins ($8,000), land use bylaw ($50,000), floor scrubber for arena ($7,000), major Zamboni maintenance (15,000), e-ceiling repairs at arena ($8,000), swipe key security system ($15,000) and two HVAC units ($65,000).

A new mower and sidewalk snow clearing tractor will be purchased for $119,000 and $13,000 has been budgeted for headache racks, lighting and replacing the decals on all town vehicles.

The RCMP building will get a $30,000 face lift this year.

Acting CAO Lori Hillis said the water well study and construction and arena roof has bumped up the capital budget.

“Usually, we spend about $1.5 million on capital projects, but this year it’s higher,” he said.