Alberta Municipalities are spending beyond their means, according to a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. This year’s Alberta Municipal Spending Watch found that excessive spending by local governments has cost Albertan households nearly $10,000 between 2003 and 2013.
On a positive note, the Town of Sexsmith was named as one of only three municipalities in Alberta to keep spending on operations at or below population and inflation growth. Mayor Claude Legace says being ranked third in the province was a surprise, but shows they’re making the right decisions.
“We’ll continue to make sure that services are provided and really look at our bigger expenses, whether we need them at that time or not. We need to thank our ratepayers in Sexsmith for the input and the guidance and the patience that they had with council, and we’ll keep on doing the same as we have.”
The Town of Fairview also made it into the top 10, ranked 7th out of 180 municipalities. The County was 103rd while Grande Prairie made 124th. However, Mayor Bill Given takes issue with the numbers used to calculate what was shelled out per capita.
“As we all know in Grande Prairie’s case, our previous census was 2011. They’ve estimated our population growth between 2011 and 2013, and as we know, the growth was really explosive between then.”
He also questions the recommendation from the CFIB for municipalities to restrain spending growth to population growth, when other provinces have heard been told to also consider inflation.