Bonnyville town council has plenty of work ahead of them as they look to shave down 2020 budget deficits. Council met on Tuesday evening and were presented with the first draft operating and capital budgets for next year that currently sit with a $1 million and $5.7 million deficit respectively.

Town assistant CAO Bill Rogers says the first draft usually shows a deficit and requires a little elbow grease to finesse back to being balanced.

“For the last three or four years, we start off with a budget deficit that’s between $800,000 and $1,000,000 and then we go back to the drawing board and look at savings and possible use of funding to create a plan and make that go away.”

The $5.7 million missing from the capital budget is mostly being blamed on the uncertainty with ID 349 tax distribution. Mayor Gene Sobolewski says he’s wary of tax increases to increase revenue and help balance the budget.

“If we take a look right now, we have another business that is essentially shutting down in town. Can we afford to postpone projects? Absolutely. I think it irresponsible of us to charge forward with some nice-to-haves.”

Council and town administration are now working on a new draft budget. That is expected to be released by November 26th.

A public open house on the 2020 budgets is on the calendar for December 3rd.