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Interim $36-million budget passed

Projects budget approved

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – County council has passed an interim 2020 operating budget totalling $36,014,777. The move came by way of motion during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

“As the 2020 operating budget is yet to be determined, council must approve an interim operating budget to cover the normal ongoing municipal operations of the county,” administration said in a briefing note to council. “The operating budget will be finalized after the assessment roll is completed and the Alberta School Foundation Fund requisition amount has been determined by the province.”

The interim budget calls for revenue of $34,547,437, down slightly from $34,907,437.

It also calls for expenses of $36,014,777, down from $38,016,688.

Council also approved the 2020 operating projects budget totalling $25,253,975.

Projects in the budget include the following:

• Re-gravel program at a total cost of $2.25 million. The project sheet states, in part, that, “Operational services has been directed to complete 650 kilometres county-wide of re-gravel per year. This service level is based on a spread rate of 222 tonnes per kilometre and an average road width of eight metres.”

• Re-chipping program at a total cost of $1.5 million. “Operational services intends to re-chip its hard surfaced chip seal road inventory every seven years. In 2020, this will be 121.6 kilometres.”

• Base stabilization at a cost of $600,000. “Operations plans on doing 5.6 kilometres of rip/base/chip on Acme Road in 2020, from Rge. Rd. 25 to Rge. Rd. 22. We are hoping these areas will hold together and not require any enhanced maintenance.”

• Asphalt long patching totalling $400,000. “Operational services hires a contactor to apply asphalt patches to the roads based on their condition. Each year hard surface roads are inspected in the spring to evaluate the most critical locations for long patching.”

• Gravel pit stripping at a cost of $300,000. “Prior to crushing gravel, the topsoil and subsoil need to be stripped. This is done on an as-needed basis.”

• Bad debt expense funding totalling $175,000. “Under policy 1008, tax rate stabilization reserve funding may be used to cover shortfalls in funding. When administration deems property tax is uncollectable, funds from the reserve may be used to cover the funding shortfall that was created by the bad debt. This is the first time that a reserve has been used to cover this expense.”

• Business services hardware and software $116,2000. “This includes all hardware and software from the office equipment long range plan. The intent of this project is to keep our office software and hardware current.”

• Mapping access for grader operators $11,000. “In 2019 two new apps were built as part of the GIS intern project. Both apps were built with operational services staff, one to help manage the dust control project, the other to support sign activities.”

• Communications application development $20,000. “The strategy approved by council in September identified a strong need for two way communications with residents and stakeholders, a desire to use modern technology to enable communications to be delivered directly to residents, and a willingness from residents to use a mobile application.”

All the project sheets are available for viewing on the county’s website.