2018-2020 Corporate Plan and 2018 Budget
On Monday and Tuesday evening, council was presented with the 2018-2020 corporate plan. Administration did a great job putting the document together and a list of initiatives and actions the city can take over the next couple of years.
Council also requested a number of initiatives that were ‘below the line’ items be put ‘above the line’- meaning these were items we felt were priorities for the city, based on what we heard from residents and during the election campaign.
The final corporate plan will be voted on at Council on November 27th. Right now, if it is passed as proposed, we are looking at a very reasonable 3.9% tax hike (or a tax impact of $6.88/month for a household with an assessed value of $342,411) or $82.56 for the year.
There is a small water and sewer rate increase of $0.34 per cubic meter, which is approximately $4.73 per month for a household consuming 14 cubic metres.
The total impact? $11.61 per month on average or $139/yr.
Administration worked very hard to keep this line and even with the additions from council, we kept it at 3.9%.
But let me share some of the highlights (the document is large and there are literally dozens and dozens of projects and initiatives so I can’t list them here) with you:
1. Develop an Indigenous Engagement Improvement Strategy “New Beginnings”
2. Implementation of the broadband strategy
3. Develop a strategy to reduce homelessness (moved above the line by council)
4. Enterprise Wireless Systems
5. Storm system upgrades for Broxton Park
6. New growth, transportation- complete walking trails that are missing
7. Addition of Pumper Fire truck
8. Initial phase of transit infrastructure for the permanent park and ride (Westwind)
9. Implementation of outdoor facilities strategy
10. Bus stop upgrading
11. Additional bus service (local service)
12. Developing neighbourhood parks within newly developing areas
13. Arena Complex (part of a phase)- whether this be part of SEC or another type/similar project, funds earmarked for a twin arena
14. Implementation of public art policy
15. Infrastructure Condition reports- Pedestrian bridges study (i.e bridges you find on the trails systems)
16. Industrial Storm study
17. Automated Traffic Enforcement cost analysis (photo radar and whether we can possibly bring it in house versus contract) (moved above the line by council)
18. Heritage Trail (Participark) 40th anniversary (moved above the line by council)
19. Additional RCMP officers (2)
20. Fire Services Staffing (8 additional staff to start in 2019, training starts in 2018 and 4 more in 2020)
21. Specialized Transit Service Operating Fund Increase
22. Increase to the Spruce Grove Public Library Operating Grant
23. New Transit Coordinator position
24. Night Owls Citizen on Patrol funding request
25. Needs assessment by the Friends of the Library submission (moved above the line by council)
This is no means an exhaustive list and there are many many wonderful ideas and initiatives that stayed below the line, simply because we cannot do them all without a much bigger tax increase. I think Council, with the hard work of administration, did a great job balancing the wants and needs and brought forward initiatives that we heard were important to our residents during the election campaign.
I requested that in March (during our strategy session with council) that we discuss the idea of a protective services master plan. Many councillors also spoke about recogzning pride next year (lots of time to plan with pride month being in June) in some way so we’ll be connecting with the community to discuss ideas– we already have a few good ones.
As always, open to discussion. There were few residents in attendance at the public meeting and I encourage you to attend. The schedule, agenda and minutes from previous meetings are available on the city website.
I will post the corporate plan 2018-2020 revised doc once it is available.