Lloydminster’s City Council has passed their annual budget.
The document was approved at a special council meeting, and approves a 1.8% increase to property taxes, 0.5% lower than the 2.3% proposed in the budget draft.
Mayor Rob Saunders says council was frugal with city expenses.
“I think what we witnessed today is understanding that there is an economy that’s affecting everyone,” Saunders said. “We witnessed some diligent work to try and keep costs as low as possible, and to reduce any increases in a lot of different areas. Really, there’s no increase, there’s frozen salaries for [non-unionized] workers in our administration, management, and also council has taken that same stance on freezing our salaries.”
Other areas council saved was by reducing their operating budget by $45,000, and reducing the $150,000 requested by the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre to 2015’s level of funding of $56,000.
Councillor Linnea Goodhand was the most vocal about reducing the amount of funding proposed by the Golf and Curling Centre. She says giving that much to the facility wouldn’t be justifiable.
“We asked everyone to do their best to hold to a 2015 ask,” Goodhand said. “So if we’re asking the library to hold to that, asking the [Regional Business Accelerator] to hold to that, I think it wouldn’t have been appropriate or fair to then allow an additional to flow to the [facility].
“I also think that it’s a facility where there’s a greater and greater impetus for revenue neutral at the very least. I think it’s hard to sell to the taxpayer that they should be subsidizing people’s golf and curling fees through property taxes.”
The entire budget can be viewed at lloydminster.ca/budget.