A three per cent property tax increase is on the books for residents in Beaverlodge, but municipal officials say they’ve been put in a vulnerable position by recent funding cuts.
The hike would see owners of an average property assessed at $250,000 pay roughly $67 more a year. Acting CAO Tina Letendre says the main reason for any tax hike comes down to the downloading of provincial costs into municipalities, as well as cuts from the province in crucial funding.
“Cutting in the MSI funding, we had a huge cut in that from $85,000 to $29,000,” she explains.
Municipal Sustainability Initiative, or MSI funding, helps municipalities pay for things like infrastructure repair. Police funding will also see a jump in 2021.
Letendre adds additional recommendations of an increase to the town’s bulk water by $1.25 per cubic metre, an increase in the sewer consumption rate by 17 cents, no cost of living increase for town employees, and a reduction of the mayor and council’s monthly honorariums by 10 per cent were also approved.
Letendre says that some much-needed repairs to critical community buildings are also in the cards.
“The community centre has been neglected, so it’s quite important to get those down to upgrade the aesthetics because people don’t want to rent something that doesn’t look appealing.”
She says, currently, some of the walls inside the community centre are carpeted, adding that for many, it eliminates the building for some very special occasions.
“You want to get married, you want to get married in a nice venue.”
Letendre says a few other capital projects they hope to finish off this year include fencing the new fire hall land for training purposes, and continuation of their sidewalk repair program.