Council is considering its Capital Budget of over $3.8 million with targeted spending in some areas.
Director of Cooperate Services, Mauricio Reyes, presented the first draft of the 2021 Capital Budget and the multi-year capital plan. The capital budget is for expenditures for the acquisition or maintenance of fixed assets and is funded primarily through grants and municipal reserves. This is unlike the operating budget which the council has already passed, and is funded primarily through municipal taxes, fees, and franchise fees.
Of the $3,843,560 capital budget, 58 per cent is funded through ongoing grant programs, 29 per cent is funded through one time grants, 12 per cent from tax-supported municipal reserves, and one percent through utility supported reserves.
One new item in the draft budget is funding for a downtown plaza. This is funded through a $940,000 Municipal Stimulus Program grant.
Under fire protection, there is funding of $350,000 for a new water tanker, plus $15,000 to convert an existing unit into a water tanker. These funds come from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant (MSI)
The town is also using MSI funding for a new grader at $375,000 as well as $158,000 for improvements to the Infrastructure services shop. The town is also spending $1 million for its annual Street Rehabilitation program. This will be funded half through MSI and half through the Federal Gas Tax.
At the BCF they are looking at upgrading and replacing audiovisual equipment at $194,000, funded through MSI, as well as replacement of aged-out fitness equipment and new banquet chairs and tables. Manager of Recreation, Arts, and Culture, Darren Goldthorpe, said the closing of the BCF due to the pandemic has given them a little more time to replace equipment because it is based on hours of use, not by chronological age. He also notes the new banquet chairs will be an upgrade.
Reyes noted funding from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) will be decreasing, and the town is expecting about $3.7 million in the next three years, about a 33 per cent drop when compared to previous years.
Funding for the flood mitigation work is not included in the capital budget. Council will discuss it again at its next council meeting.