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Beaverlodge budget shows giant holes in flood repair funding

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The average Beaverlodge homeowner with a property worth $250,000 should see the municipal portion of their tax bill go up by roughly $107 this year. The Town of Beaverlodge has approved a five per cent tax increase for 2019.

Mayor Gary Rycroft says he realizes the number sounds high, but argues that it doesn’t even keep up with the rate of inflation.

“If you just go on the normal cost of living increases, the increase of fuel and natural gas, these actual increases aren’t that much.”

Rycroft says the biggest concern he has going forward is the financial hole the town finds itself in when it comes to water and sewer maintenance. Beaverlodge was hit with a pair of emergencies in 2018, including when 45 millimetres of rain fell over the course of just a couple of hours and caused widespread flooding on August 1st.

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Rycroft believes it could take more than one budget cycle to get back on track, and that means at least one major program must be sacrificed.

“There are some things that aren’t going to happen. There isn’t going to be a big paving program this year because everything needs to go to water and sewer. I can see the next three years being more of a catch-up.”

Officials say nearly $2 million is needed to complete all necessary repairs caused by the flooding, but only $327,000 is available for use. Rycroft says the town has been approved for provincial funding to help alleviate the cost of repairs. However, they have no final number on how much relief funding they will receive.

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