Council sets budget spending priorities

Lake Country council has finalized its 2013 operating and capital budget.

After deliberating for two days, Lake Country council has finalized its 2013 operating and capital budget.

During the first week of February, council made decisions on how best to fund the operation of facilities and services the community relies on and make infrastructure improvements.

The budget helps determine which objectives to give the highest priority and which will yield the most benefit in the community.

The 2013 budget includes a three per cent property tax increase, which equates to approximately $45 on an average single-family home assessed at $489,000.

The largest impacts within the 2013 operating budget are the increase in the RCMP contract ($112,000) and the transit expansion which took effect September 2012 ($120,000).

Together these two items  equate to a tax increase of 2.65 per cent.

The district’s total operating budget is $18.4 million and the capital budget is $9.1 million (plus 2012 unfinished project allocations).

The Business Systems Review and recommended changes implemented in 2012 resulted in annual savings of $393,000 starting in 2013 which has been allocated to capital projects for infrastructure improvements.

The capital projects are the big ticket items. They include:

• Wastewater Treatment Plant Stage 3 Expansion $7 million

• Kal Lake Interconnect Project final stages $1.3 million

• Water main replacement along Glenmore Road $175,000

• Camp Road Reconstruction and Pathway (Bond Rd. to Jack Seaton Park) $250,000

• Beasley Park Community Centre Upgrades $450,000

• Bottom Wood Lake Road design (Berry Rd. to Woodsdale Rd.) $100,000

• Master Drainage Plan $80,000

• Clement Road Drainage Improvements $80,000

• Integrated Transportation Framework $75,000.

Some decisions made by Council in last November that affected the budget included:

• that there be no increase to the sewer user fee, sewer parcel tax, environmental levy and garbage and recycling user fee for 2013; and

• that there be a $50 increase to the water user fee for the years 2013 to 2016.

The full budget document is on the district’s website .

There you can also view the minutes of the Feb. 5 and 7 council meetings to see all of the individual budget decisions.

District of Lake Country Feb. 27 newsletter.