Rimbey mayor looks at year ahead

Budget deliberations in March

Town council is holding at a ‘wait and see’ position until they have competed their budget in March to determine capital projects and property taxes.

Mayor Rick Pankiw said he is not expecting a lot of surprises when the provincial government budget is announced, but that could change.

Pankiw said he is concerned about the new policing model which requires each municipality in Alberta with a population of under 5,000 to pay begin to pay for policing beginning at approximately $51,000 in 2021, $76,000 in 2022, $101,000 in 2023 and $152,000 in 2024 and in 2025.

Municipalities under $5,000 did not pay for policing previously.

“It certainly is a kick to every municipality under $5,000,” he said.

While council would like to keep the line on taxes this year, Pankiw is not convinced that can happen due to the added expense.

“It looks like we either have to raise taxes or drop services.”

However, Pankiw said council will hash over the details during budget and do their best to keep the taxes status quo.

In the upcoming year council is looking at upgrading the reservoir and putting in a new water line from the new well. However, this would be around a $2 million project and is not written in stone at this point.

Reserves have been put away for street lights which Pankiw said have reached a critical point at the west end of Rimbey.

The mayor gave kudos to Mark MacDonald from Fortis whom he said has gone ‘above and beyond’ to keep lights operational.

The mayor noted that due to the continual economic downturn in Alberta, everyone is feeling the financial crunch.

He is, however, happy to note that, in his opinion, services in Rimbey, including snow removal continue to be top notch.

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