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Budget Workshops Starting This Week, Proposed Budget Sitting at $775M

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Budget Workshops Starting This Week, Proposed Budget Sitting at $775M

Budget talks are starting up for the RMWB and you’re getting a chance to give some feedback to mayor and council.

From Wednesday-Saturday, the 2018 Proposed Budget, 2019-2020 Financial Plan, and 2019-2022 Capital Plan will all be discussed before going to council for approval later this month.

Right now, the proposed budget is sitting at $775 million – $254 million for the capital budget and $456 million for the operating budget.

Director of Financial Services Linda Ollivier tells Mix News they are also proposing a reduction of $27 million – mostly due to the 10-year transition plan for Bill 21.

“It’s showing that we’re really trying to find the efficiencies that have been asked of us, so it was a very hard exercise and it’s very favorable.”

Ollivier notes a $20 million reduction each year as part of the transition plan may not be feasible as they will continue to look year over year to see where they can save funds.

The reduction is mostly expected to come from lack of ‘growth projects’ across the region – meaning many of the plans set for 2018 will be a continuation or addition to ongoing projects and infrastructure.

The municipality is also looking at a reduction of $65 million in committed undrawn debt, adding to the $350 million from 2017. These are spare funds which will be used instead of acquiring additional money.

Meanwhile, residents will get the chance to speak in a 30-min slot during each of the four workshops.

Ollivier says people living in the rural communities can ask questions at their municipal offices and call in during the meetings.

“There will be lines that are open so they can comment at that time and we’ll know if they have any questions and we’ll be able to answer them at that time.”

The workshops will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Council will approve a final budget on February 27.

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