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Bonnyville still hashing out budgets

Work is still underway on the 2020 budgets in Bonnyville. Town council met Tuesday evening where they were presented with second drafts of both the operating and capital plans.

Town administration was able to get a projected deficit on the $21 million operating budget down to around $525,000 from the almost $1 million that was projected on the first draft at the end of October. Notable levies still on the plan include a two percent increase in utility and garbage fees, which the town says will bring in $51,000 in revenue.

Once again the idea of a tax rate increase was brought to the table. Mayor Gene Sobolewski says he disagrees with asking for more to try and get the books balanced.

“I’ve talked to a number of businesses since the last meeting when we brought up the issue of taxes. If there was something that was resounding from the business, commercial and the rest was absolute negativity to pursuing that direction rather then looking inside to see if we could cut.”

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The capital budget is still sitting around $5 million in the red with the town putting the blame mostly on the loss of ID-349 funds from the province. Council was presented with a list of ideas to trim that back, one of which would be putting a stop on projects like a future library expansion and needs assessment on a new pool.

Residents now have their chance to have a say at a budget open house at town hall December 3rd before the council passes an interim budget by the end of the year.

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