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City approves budget after second reading

The City of Lloydminster passes the estimated $83 million 2019 budget after its second reading.

On November 16, the first draft of the budget posted a million dollar deficit for the Border City. Council and administration seemed to come away with the notion that services needed to be cut or money needed to be moved. On Monday, the second reading was approved. Once the budget was accepted a 2.7% Mill Rate was factored in which wasn’t in the first draft, this made up for the deficit along with the movement of funds putting the city at a surplus around $82,000. The approval of the budget means a 2.7% increase in property taxes will be implemented.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the early work and information collected by the administration on helped the process.

“It wasn’t an easy budget, no budget is easy, and it was talked about again, a proposed increase in taxes, but at the same time the services we’ve been able to maintain and enhance as well as the cost drivers that we faced, I think we addressed them fairly well.”

A big factor in some of the decisions for the budget had to do with community engagement events that took place over the summer. The City answered residents cry for better winter maintenance, transportation costs were increased to $1.7 million.

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Some of the other big costs include $6.7 million going towards street improvement and rehabilitation projects. The City is still in the same spot when it comes to the wastewater treatment plant. The $9 million contribution from the city is being accounted for in this year’s budget. With the contribution added in, Water and Waster water look to cost $11.3 million. In order to be prepared in the case of potential floods, $5.2 million will go towards upgrades to drainage channels. Aalbers says some of the highlighted projects include the aggressive road maintenance in the winter and planned construction.

“You’re going to see some work at the airport, we hope, and some of this is contingent on provincial and federal funding, so if someone pulls the plug out of the sink and the water drains we’re going to have a whole lot less to work with.”

 

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