Lac La Biche County has approved its budget for 2017, with replacing infrastructure being a main focus.
“Council and Administration have gone through this year’s budget with a fine-tooth comb, and the finished document is a responsible financial plan that reflects our priorities,” said Mayor Omer Moghrabi. “We’re still facing a challenging economic climate, but we also have opportunities to reduce our infrastructure deficit and lay the groundwork for years to come.”
Operating expenditures are set at $51,913,497, along with capital expenditures of $28,013,082. The County is currently targeting a surplus of $1,419,535.
A detailed overview of the budget will be posted on the County’s website soon. The County is entering the third year of five-year programs for sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement and road resurfacing in the hamlets. New water and sewer lines will be constructed in a portion of Mission Beach subdivision, and a 200-foot floating dock will be installed on the west side of Lac La Biche, near the former location of the Big Dock on Lac La Biche Lake.
While the spending side of things is settled, the income side of things needs to be worked on next. Council will be discussing property tax rates at meetings later this spring.
Capital budget highlights:
• Sidewalk replacement program (year three of five): $900,000
• Hamlet road resurfacing program (year three of five): $1.4 million
• Entrance signs for Lac La Biche, Plamondon and other hamlets: $225,000
• Water and sewer rehabilitation program: $4 million
• Engineering for water and sewer expansion along Highway 858: $30,000
• Walking trail program: $200,000
• Mission Beach subdivision water and sewer servicing (phase one): $1.7 million, with a portion to be financed through a local improvement levy
• Aprons (driveways) at Hylo Fire Hall and Plamondon Fire Hall: $45,000
• Two inflatable rescue boats for Lac La Biche County Fire Rescue: $26,000
• Replacement of field offices at transfer stations: $32,000
• Township Road 652 (Elinor Lake Road) base and pave for approximately half of the road’s graveled section: $7 million, with further construction and capital costs proposed for 2018.
• Floating dock with boat slips near former Big Dock location: $150,704 (grant-funded)
• Grid road development engineering program: $150,000
• Various new vehicles, graders and other equipment