The County of Grande Prairie has released its tentative 2023 municipal budget. Reeve Bob Marshall says the current economic climate was top of mind during discussions as council looked to keep a budget that offers quality county services and infrastructure but avoids an increase for taxpayers.
“Right now with inflation, all the costs for energy and food, we knew there was a lot of people who were really struggling,” Marshall says. “So we wanted to try to protect all our ratepayers as much as we could. So that is why we were trying to keep it to zero on the rate increase; we were successful at doing it, at least at the interim budget.”
After multiple days of budget conversations, council has put forward a $134.2 million budget, including $96.5 million in general operations and $37.7 million for capital budget projects. More than half of the capital budget will go toward road and bridge projects. Marshall says some of the other major projects include the county’s final contribution of their $10 million portion of the Highway 40 twinning and bridge construction which is $3.33 million.
“We have $7 million set aside for a regional enforcement services and RCMP detachment in the hamlet of Clairmont, that will be a total of around $25 million at this point. Some of our other commitments include our $2.3 million to our Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework contributions to the City of Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley.”
The budget also includes $2 million that will go to the provincial government for RCMP policing costs and $1.8 million that will go towards a new fire hall in Teepee Creek. The 2023 budget will receive final approval from the council in April of 2023.