The draft $102.9 million 2024 budget sat before Lloydminster councillors on Wednesday for a full business day at City Hall.
Apart from the operating costs, the documents taxed councillors with $64.5 million in capital expenditures, a five per cent municipal tax increase, and about three per cent growth or roughly an $8/month increase in property taxes on a $350,000 home. Also, a proposed one per cent tax to support an infrastructure gap was in the draft.
The infrastructure gap is defined as “the difference between infrastructure investment needs and the funding available to pay for infrastructure,” say city officials.
The city is estimating a three per cent growth in 2024 as it manages capital projects like the Cenovus Energy Hub events centre and “other infrastructure needs, emergency services equipment and environmental services.”
The draft budget is also being challenged by the end of Alberta’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative, ongoing RCMP contract negotiations, service level reviews and cost analysis, public transportation planning, and a housing needs assessment and strategy.
Council will continue its deliberations on Nov. 20. If the budget is not approved then, it will be brought back to Council on Monday, Dec. 11.
The Lloydminster Charter, stipulates that a budget must be passed before any spending can take place for the next fiscal year.