The mayor of Bonnyville says its time to take a good, hard look at finances as the town gets set to pass a 2019 budget. On November 27th town council provided feedback on the second draft of both the operational and capital budgets that are currently being hashed out. The current idea for 2019 requires a two percent tax dollar increase to balance. Mayor Gene Sobolewski says it’s time to look at ways to cut costs and not ask for more taxes from residents.

“When we take a look at the economic climate that the northeast is going to be facing coming in [to 2019], I don’t think it would be very prudent. It’s up to the town to say ‘We also need to do some belt-tightening'”.

Town finance staff has presented a few ideas for freeing up budget space by moving a planned census to 2020 and increasing water, sewer and garbage fees by about two percent. Sobolewski says he has a goal of bringing any additional taxes down.

“Let’s get it to half a percent or zero. We have to do our part as well. And we have some low hanging fruit here that we can touch.”

The public will soon get a chance to give opinions on the budgets. December 4th at 6 pm the town hall will open its doors to an open house. Council says feedback will be considered when they meet on December 11th to pass a preliminary budget.