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HomeNewsCold Lake passes 2023 Budgets with 3.3% increase to property taxes

Cold Lake passes 2023 Budgets with 3.3% increase to property taxes

Cold Lake City Council passed both the 2023 Capital and Operating Budget yesterday with a total of just under $72 million in expenditures.

The budgets funded a one-year extension to the commercial security program and a shift to 24-hour peace officer presence, while also maintaining existing programs and services in the face of rising costs.

The 2023 Operating Budget was passed at $54.8 million, inclusive of a transfer to the capital budget of $6.4 million. The Capital Budget includes just over $23.3 million in funding.

Cold Lake residents can expect a 3.3 percent increase in property taxes to balance the budget. 

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“There is a lot of economic uncertainty at the moment and inflation has been a challenge that the municipality is not exempt from,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Every year we are faced with balancing different priorities, needs, and wants. This year, we sought to hold the line on the vast majority of our programs, while making a commitment to public safety and security, and working to finish the capital projects that we have started.”

The budget also has previously approved amendments to the electrical franchise fee framework which will cost the average household about $2 more along with the implementation of a new stormwater utility charge in 2023 and an invoice fee of $1 per month for paper utility bills.

The City of Cold Lake’s business, services, and recreation fees will also rise by approximately two percent in an attempt to keep up with rising costs.

Copeland says the fee increase will not keep pace with the increase in costs that the municipality has seen.

“We need to try to maintain a certain level of cost recovery or we will face larger increases in the future.”

The Capital Budget will see an additional $9 million in funding for the Public Works Operation Centre bringing the total approved funding for the project to about $27.5 million.

An expansion of kayak storage at the marina, maintenance and refurbishment of several city facilities, including council chambers, the Reid Field House, the third and final phase of the marina boardwalk, roof fixes at the Public Works Shop and the North Fire Hall, as well as top-up funding needed to meet the budget for a renovation of the Cenovus Wellness Centre have all been funded.

The 2023 Capital Budget includes spending across a variety of initiatives, equipment replacement programs and departments. A breakdown of the spending is as follows:

  • Fleet and Equipment Infrastructure: $1,287,000
  • Environmental and Utility Infrastructure: $1,245,800
  • Roadway Infrastructure Improvements: $8,180,200
  • Facilities Infrastructure: $11,835,000
  • IST Infrastructure: $60,000
  • Recreation Infrastructure: $700,000

A significant portion of the 2023 Capital Budget is debt-financed for projects that have generational impacts, such as the new Public Works Operations Centre.

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