***PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CITY OF COLD LAKE***
Cold Lake, AB – City Council passed a budget today that aims to continue to fix the City’s infrastructure deficit while also balancing significant recreational commitments with the need to prepare for future growth.
With an operating budget that comes in just under $39 million, and over $22 million allocated for capital projects, the City of Cold Lake is projecting a tax increase of about 3.8 per cent. Water and sewer rates will also increase by 6 per cent to bring the rates closer to full cost recovery.
“After holding the line on taxes for three years, our financial models predicted a tax increase in this range, so the long-term planning the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range money has allowed us to do is proving accurate,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “When you can vision out what decisions will have to be made over the next 10 years – and you can see the impact those decisions will have – that kind of information is invaluable. The Air Weapons Range deal has allowed us to take the long view. Once again, our budget is part of a larger plan that is focused on building a strong, vibrant community.”
The 2015 Operating Budget includes:
- $120,000 to extend the hours of operation at the new Cold Lake and District FCSS Centre.
- $350,000 to evaluate and implement a transit system in the summer or fall of 2015.
- Fast-tracked implementation of the automated waste collection system with the expectation that the system can be rolled out City-wide in 2015.
- Just under $190,000 to cover the rising cost of snow removal.
- Continuation of the successful Sidewalk Repair Program.
- One extra clerical position for the Cold Lake RCMP detachment.
- $48,000 in assistance for the Seniors’ Society.
- Enhanced operations to recreational facilities including the Energy Centre, skating rinks, Splash Park and Kinosoo Beach.
“We are a very young, fast-growing community and this budget reflects that fact,” Copeland said. “We need to keep up with the demand that FCSS is seeing as well as the demand for recreation across the City. At the same time, we still have old infrastructure that needs to be fixed and new infrastructure we need in place to accommodate growth. Striking the right balance is a tall order, but we are confident that the budget we passed does just that.”
The 2015 Capital Budget includes:
- Over $8.3 million in environmental and utility infrastructure improvements.
- Over $5 million in roadway improvements. This includes the continuation of the Commercial and Service Road Paving Programs.
- $200,000 to replace the terminal building at the Cold Lake Regional Airport.
- Over $1.2 million in fleet and equipment purchases, including an allowance for the transit system and support for the automated waste collection program.
- About $5.7 million in facility infrastructure, including the design work for the expansion of the Energy Centre and the RCMP detachment.
Cold Lake City Council will set the mill rate in April 2015, once the City receives the 2015 Assessment Roll and the Provincial School and Seniors Foundation requisitions.