Corporate Plan Meeting Highlights November 4, 5, 6, 2019

Posted On Friday November 08, 2019

Following the 2020-2022 Corporate Plan meetings, Council has given Administration direction on what the high priorities are while maintaining fiscal sustainability over the next three years. The proposed Corporate Plan was discussed at length with numerous difficult decisions made November 4th, 5th, and 6th.   

Town Manager, Tom Goulden says, “As a municipality, the Town of Stony Plain is operating within a changing economic climate. While the national economy continues to grow the provincial economy is lagging compared to historical growth.” Goulden goes on to say, “The recent provincial budget takes aim at addressing per capita spending that is higher than national averages on services and capital infrastructure. This new provincial direction has a direct impact on our community.” 

Going into the Corporate Plan meetings on Monday evening, Administration presented a document that outlined initiatives that support the Strategic Plan laid out by Council earlier this year. Administration identified a funding gap from necessary projects and service levels equal to nearly a 10% tax increase. Staff worked to reduce that increase before it went to Council bringing that number down to 5.24% for 2020. 

 

Budget

Tax Implication

RCMP building debenture

$542,647

3.19%

RCMP building maintenance

$78,400

0.46%

Stony Plain Central School land

$209, 000

1.23%

Legacy fund repayment for land purchase

$77,871

0.46%

Transit, net grants

$251,333

1.48%

Operating budget net reduction

($268,442)

(1.58%)

Recommended budget increase

890,809

5.24%

A number of motions were brought forward by Council on the proposed budget above, reducing the tax increase further from 5.24% to 4.27% for 2020. 

 

 

% Impact on Tax Levy

% Incremental Impact

Original budget draft

 

5.24%

5.24%

Library funding increase

25,000

0.15%

5.39%

Reduction of Council expenses to 2019 levels

(17,559)

-0.10%

5.28%

25% reduction to local transit service

(43,333)

-0.26%

5.03%

Legacy Reserve repayment reduction

(38,936)

-0.23%

4.8%

Stony Plain Central School land repayment reduction

(90,000)

-0.53%

4.27%

Mayor William Choy says, “It’s a difficult process to balance our priorities, continue to move our community forward, and recognize the economic realities we are all facing. Council made 12 motions to ensure our strategic priorities are met with the lowest impact on the municipal tax rate.” Choy continues to say, “A proposed 4.27% increase is not ideal, but it is necessary, 3.65% is solely for the RCMP building debenture payment and maintenance. Our community needed that building. The old facility the Town rented from the federal government was inadequate to serve our RCMP and residents.” 

A number of other capital projects have been approved for 2020 including: 

  • Signage Strategy Implementation Phase III
  • Transportation Master Plan Update
  • Community Recreation Centre Detailed Design & Tender Documents
  • Tri-Municipal Transit Implementation
  • Cultural Master Plan Renewal
  • Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System
  • Sanitary Inflow and Infiltration Study
  • Asset Management Implementation
  • Old Town North Storm Water Management
  • Snow Storage Site Concept Plan
  • Central Trunk Sanitary Sewer Design and Construction 

One position was included in the proposed Corporate Plan, an Operations Supervisor. This position would be responsible for and provide focused service delivery for utility (water and wastewater), drainage, solid waste and recycling. 

Large Item Pickup was removed from the operating budget for 2020. This will save the Town $45,000. Large Item pickup was a service the Town provided to residents following the Treasure Hunt. Council will hear proposals on this reduction in early 2020. 

A motion to reduce the Stony Plain Golf Course budget also passed during the Corporate Plan meetings, reducing the proposed expenditures to 2019 levels of $1,903,107. Similarly, expected reduced budgeted revenues should result in a no tax rate impact.

“Kudos to Council for the discussion, debate, and conversation over the last three nights. We don’t always agree, but what we do have is respect for each other’s views and opinions because we’re all passionate about serving our community,” says Mayor Choy. “Thank you to our staff. The work you do for us is invaluable; we appreciate all that you do to keep the Town operating effectively and efficiently.” 

The proposed 4.27% tax increase breaks down to be approximately an increase of $2.18 per month or $26.16 per year for every $100,000 of property assessment value. A home valued at $350,000 would see an annual increase of $91.56. 

The proposed Corporate Plan with Council amendments goes before Council for final approval at the Regular Council meeting on November 25, 2019. The final tax rate could change during Spring Budget Adjustments based on any change in the Town’s assessed value of property and once the full impact of the Provincial budget cuts are understood. 

“My team and I will continue to review our internal budgets and processes, we will continue to analyze the current provincial budget and identify and update Council regarding any other changes we can bring forward into the final determination of the tax rate,” says Goulden. 

The Corporate Plan meetings can be viewed on the Town’s YouTube Channel

Please note: This is not the official Town of Stony Plain council meeting minutes. Please refer to Agendas and Minutes for all supporting documents, and official meeting minutes that have been approved by Town Council.