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County council to look at $34.8 operating budget again next week

Operation budget coming back on Feb. 5

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – Mountain View County council has been given an update on ongoing work on the 2020 operation budget. The review came during a recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

Administration presented the update as part of the budget deliberation process.

The update is given to offer council an “opportunity to thoroughly review the budget and provide administration with direction at the next presentation of the operation budget on Feb. 5,” administration said in a briefing note to council.

The proposed budget calls for total revenues of $34,848,543, down $58,894 from last year’s total of $34,907,437.

Proposed total expenses are $35,888,151, down $2,128,536 from last year’s total of $38,016,688.

The budget is divided into various departments, including council, CAO services, corporate services, planning and development, legislative and community services, and operation services.

The council operating budget is to be reduced by $69,000.

“This can be attributed to a reduction of $72,000 in the amount of per diems budgeted for council and public members based on historical trends,” the note states.

“There were also some miscellaneous increases in the amount of $3,000. Base rate for councillors has not changed from 2019, as per council’s direction.”

The CAO budget is to be reduced by $130,000.

“The largest decrease came in the form of a $60,000 change in payroll costs. There was also $18,000 decrease in training.

“Also this year there are no business continuity project costs, which was a further reduction of $35,000. There was an additional decrease of $16,000 based on prior year actuals.”

The overall finance budget has decreased by $360,000.

“The largest decrease came from a reduction in payroll costs. There was one position removed from the organizational chart and another moved to CAO services.

“As well there were some cost reclassifications as part of the reductions, the biggest shift of $135,000 in software fees moved to business services. Another $40,000 was cut based on prior year actuals. This is largely attributed to a reduction in paper and postage expenses.”

The assessment budget has been reduced by $22,000.

“This is mostly attributed to a cost reallocation of software fees moved to business services in the amount of $18,000. An additional $4,000 was reduced from the training budget for 2020.”

The business service budget is to be increased by $230,000.

“The largest contributor to the increase was the reallocation of software licensing costs for a total of $177,000. Air photos increased the budget by $40,000.”

The waste management budget is to decrease by $97,000 due to a reduction in the fee for service charged by the Mountain View Regional Waste Management Commission.

The planning department budget is to decrease by $276,000.

“A total of $140,000 of this decrease results from changes to payroll, two vacant positions were zero funded for 2020 but remain on the organizational chart for 2020.

“Permitting is forecasted to be $65,000 higher which can be accounted for by adding a position (building and fire safety codes officer), which in turn reduced contract service fees.”

The overall legislative service budget is to decrease by $14,000.

“The biggest part of this reduction was the Legacy Land Trust funding of $10,000, and a decrease in training expenses of $2,500.”

The community services budget is to decrease by $1.2 million.

“One million dollars for the Olds Rotary Athletic Park will be fully funded in 2019.”

The agricultural services budget is to increase by $9,000.

“Six thousand of this increase is new support of a grazing association.”

The operations budget is to go down by $534,000.

“The largest decrease was $285,000 in payroll. The shops budget was reduced by roughly $55,000. An increase in equipment transfers contributed $12,500 to this reduction.”

Budgets for the airports are to increase by $38,000.

“The Olds-Didsbury contract increased by $28,000 in 20209. An additional $10,000 increased amortization based on 2019 costs.”

The complete proposed budget documents can be viewed on the county’s website.

Dan Singleton

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