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Bowden council sets operating, capital budgets

Town of Bowden's operating 2022 budget calls for a zero per cent tax increase, although mayor says some property owners may have to pay more "depending on assessments"

BOWDEN — Town council has passed a $2.8 million operating budget for 2022.

That figure is up about $100,000 from last year’s figure and up $2 million from two years ago.

Yet it provides a zero per cent tax increase, Town of Bowden Mayor Robb Stuart says.

“There were increases in some items, but we managed to have a zero per cent tax increase,” Stuart wrote in an email. However, he said “some people could pay more, depending on assessments.”

“Due to the economic difficulties many people experienced in 2021, we did not pass on the $0.13 per metre increase from the wastewater commission or the $0.11 per metre increase from the water commission,” Stuart wrote.

“We have seen increased economic development and are optimistic that this will continue,” he added.

Bowden chief administrative officer Greg Skotheim says COVID-19 had a big impact on the town’s operating budget.

“COVID reduced our revenues in recreation and user fees,” he wrote in an email.

“We also had increased expenditures with items like arena security costs due to the (Restrictions Exemption Program) that were not budgeted for.”

Council also passed the town’s capital budget.

One of the largest expenditures in that budget is creating a biking/hiking trail through the community, a project expected to cost about $240,000. Skotheim says it will be the town’s “first large-scale trail project.”

Plans call for it to run from 25th Avenue in the north, past the school, through the arena park and then to the rodeo grounds when completed.

It's expected to go out for tender this spring with construction occurring in the summer.

Other projects include upgrades to the water reservoir and a plan to install a new water meter to create more capacity in the town’s water system.

That project is expected to cost $38,000. New playground equipment is planned for Centennial Park at a cost of $65,000.