Council approves 2017 budget

December 6, 2016

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – At the December 5, 2016 meeting, Council approved the 2017 Operating and Capital Budgets.

The Council Budget Committee deliberated in November to arrive at a recommended operating budget of $130,323,670 and a capital budget of $37,482,750.

“We had a strong, unified focus to stay the course this year. Our Administration worked hard to bring the budget down, without sacrificing service levels and the committee’s deliberations were very productive,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “With the tough economic times our Province is still experiencing, it was important to align our budget and expenditure considerations with the challenges that our residents are facing.”

“Our staff work diligently to deliver a budget that reflects the needs of our growing community while maintaining a high level of efficient services,” says City Manager Paul Schulz. “We are cognizant of the tough economic climate but always committed to using taxpayer dollars effectively and responsibly.”

The City utilizes a variety of methods to educate residents on the budgeting process, and to solicit feedback from residents of issues that matter to them. A Look Closer campaign designed to provide residents with insight into the City’s budget consisted of targeted ads, as well as other tools and information, available at airdrie.ca.

2017 Operating Fund Budget Highlights

  • Services have remained status quo with the exception of Transit and Social Planning. 
  • Expenditures were reduced or deferred where possible, while a number of new studies have also been deferred to future years. 

  • A small property tax increase of 0.63 per cent was recommended.

  • There will be no increase in franchise fee rates.

  • The cost associated with increased service levels for Transit is $346,000. New services will see increased frequency for the 900 route (to Cross Iron Mills and Calgary), a fixed route service to replace Dial-a-bus and the implementation of Airdrie-on-Demand service.

  • FCSS grants to groups and other organizations have increased by $493,000, of which the City of Airdrie is responsible for an additional $114,000 in order to satisfy provincial requirements of the cost sharing program.

  • The budget includes a $300,000 grant to the Airdrie and Area Health Benefits Cooperative, an increase to the Airdrie Public Library grant of $100,190 and Airdrie Housing Limited will see an increase of $10,000.

  • Personnel costs have increased by $1.5MM which include the cost of salaries, wages and benefits. The operating fund budget includes 12 additional full-time positions to assist with managing operations.

  • Two additional RCMP officers have been requested for 2017. The City’s contract with the RCMP will see an increase of $813,000.

  • Transfers to reserves have been decreased by $647,000.

    • Removal of $250,000 reduction of snow and ice reserve.

    • No contribution to tax stabilization reserve in 2017.

2017 Utility Fund Highlights

  • Waste and Recycling Services will see an overall increase of $1.37MM. This increase relates to the new curbside recycling program. Waste and recycling fees will remain status quo until the new program is launched in April 2017.
  • An additional $202,000 was earmarked to begin recycling in public facilities. The start-up cost for the first year has been funded from reserves.

  • Utility rates will see a slight increase due to the cost of maintaining infrastructure and a rise in costs from our service provider, The City of Calgary.

  • The utility fund budget includes two additional full-time positions to assist with managing operations.

2017 Capital Fund Budget Highlights

  • Transportation and Public Works make up the largest part of the capital budget at $28.5MM.

  • 40 Avenue construction from Reynolds Gate to Main Street will be completed with a budget of $2.2MM.

  • The development funded, roadway project from Kings Heights to Highview Gate will proceed at a budgeted cost of $9.7MM.

  • $11MM was including to support Transit Services and will see the construction of a transit facility and a park and ride at the north end of the City.

The approved 2017 budget will be available online at www.airdrie.ca in March.

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Media contact:

Lucy Wiwcharuk
Director, Corporate Services
City of Airdrie
403.948.8800 ext. 8459

 

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