Original Published 11:38 Mar 31, 2022

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Town of Beaverlodge council approved capital and operational budgets that will see no increase to the mill rate.

“We have a balanced budget, and this will reflect in a zero per cent increase for the mill rate,” said Tina Letendre, deputy chief administrative officer (CAO).

Council approved the budgets at Monday night’s regular meeting of council.

“I’d like to thank the staff, the budget was extremely hard to get through and keep with a zero per cent tax increase,” said mayor Gary Rycroft.

He noted that there will be an increase in revenues, and the town is being more conscious of its spending.

The budget gives some insight into what will be happening in the town over 2022.

Council chambers will be seeing a $25,000 upgrade where the room will be made larger by removing a storage space. The floors will also be replaced, along with other upgrades to the lights, said Letendre.

An additional $15,000 was budgeted so that council can livestream council meetings.

The community centre will be receiving some upgrades; $10,000 toward beautifying the main entrance along with upgrades to the building’s five furnaces at $20,000.

A new storage space will also be added to the community centre between the community centre and the pool. Letendre said the community centre needs more storage and that currently, tables and chairs have been stored in a hallway, causing congestion near the food bank.

The pool will also be seeing some upgrades:

An office for the town’s recreation co-ordinator will be built where the couches and waiting area currently are.

Upgrades to the pool’s operational equipment are coming that include the chemical controller and sensors that monitor chlorine at about $34,250.

The fitness centre will also be receiving upgrades to its lighting and equipment.

“The equipment has been maintained over the last 10 years but endures a lot of wear and tear,” said Letendre.

“Having an equipment replacement plan is required to continue to offer the same level of service.”

She also noted that the lighting upgrade to the fitness centre is part of the town’s plan to reduce their cost long-term by changing lights to LED sources.

“All other lights in the facility have been upgraded in stages; the fitness centre is the last fixtures to be upgraded,” says Letendre.

Administration costs will also rise about $12,650, reflecting a 1.5 per cent cost of living increase, said Letendre.

The RCMP cost will also increase by about $24,383 due to the provincial government’s changes where small municipalities now have to pay for the service. “It’ll go up substantially next year also, and we have no control over that,” said Letendre.

This item reprinted with permission from Town & Country News, Beaverlodge, Alberta