Following considerable debate and deliberation, Lac Ste. Anne County Council passed the 2021 Capital and Operating Budgets at its regular Council session on Thursday, April 22, 2021. These budgets reflect the priorities of Council as identified during strategic planning discussions, including the mandate to hold the line on tax rates. The Council-approved budget reflects a 0% increase to the mill rate on residential improved, commercial and non-residential classes, and a 10% increase for farmland and vacant properties.
The 2021 budget shows $25,282,948 in operating expenditures and $10,096,715 in capital expenditures.
“In consideration of uniquely challenging economic conditions, Council has passed a restrained and sensible budget,” stated Lac Ste. Anne County Reeve Joe Blakeman. “In general we’ve held the line on taxation; and while farmland and vacant have increased 10%, this only equates to an average of about $26 on a farm quarter. As the 2021 budget shows, we are continuing our investment in capital projects that will help stimulate the local economy while improving our infrastructure. All things considered; I believe we are well positioned to weather the storm.”
The 2021 budget strikes a balance between economic challenges and the County’s core mandate to fund the delivery of essential services. While the budget reflects a hold on the salary grid, it also accommodates a couple of new roles: an Economic Development Officer (in alignment with growth goals as laid out in the County’s Strategic Plan); and a Facility Operator (hired as a cost-saving measure).
Also proposed in the 2021 budget in accordance with the Strategic Plan were infrastructure studies that would better equip the County to take inventory and plan for a long-term infrastructure strategy.
Highlights from the 2021 Capital Budget include:
Steady investment in roads, bridges and infrastructure with strategic leverage of federal and provincial grant dollars
Investment in recreation including a sani dump station and new playgrounds at two County campgrounds
Structures to accommodate field staff (Ag Services, Shop Yard and Paddle River Dam Campground Office)
“2020 was a year of change and challenge; now well into the new year we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant effects on service delivery,” added Reeve Blakeman. “Additionally, the UCP government’s overhaul of the assessment model for linear accounts has resulted in revenue declines. Despite these hurdles, the County has persevered in maintaining core service levels while finding resourceful ways to streamline or offset expenses.”
For further details on the County’s 2021 Capital and Operating Budgets, please visit LSAC.ca/budget.