Budget matters discussed during recent Bashaw council meeting

Town set for a 3.5 per cent tax increase
Town of Bashaw sign

The 2024 Operating Budget was presented with several revised items for review during the May 22 Bashaw council meeting.

Repairs to the town’s water lines were added to the operating budget after administration found that it could not be a capital budget item and had to be considered an expense instead. The $59,000 repair cost was transferred from reserves.

A Small Communities Opportunity Fund grant valued at $90,000 was also added to the budget. Coun. Bryan Gust’s motion to approve the revised budget was carried.

Council addressed several pressing items on the capital budget.

A tandem unit for the town has been down for repairs. The service company is having a difficult time finding needed parts for the older unit. It has been reassembled for the time being but will not pass certification in its condition. The Tandem can be sold at auction, with funds going towards a replacement unit.

The Street sweeping unit recently lost a drive shaft and is in need of new tires, and a pump. Administration has contracted street sweeping services to finish the street cleaning. Planning road closures while using contract sweeping services does cost, but it was noted it may be cheaper than repairing or replacing the existing unit.

Mapping software for the town can be used to track the locations of water mains and related valves. This would be beneficial for repairs or needed repairs. Some of the funds for the capital budget will be coming from Canada Community Building grants. Coun. Jackie Northey’s motion to approve Capital Budget purchases of $78,443.00 from the Canada Community Building Fund, and $256,500.00 from unrestricted cash surplus.

Council reviewed the items on the town’s five-year plan.

The 2024 plan has been laid out as a guideline for priorities over the next several years, including their estimated cost at this time. Items included, but are not limited to a Ball Diamond Groomer slated for 2028 ($5,000), a Public Works truck for 2027 ($60,000) and hot patch for potholes each year for $15,000 per year. The plan is a guideline that can be changed if needed. The plan was approved with a carried motion by Coun. Kyle McIntosh.

Council proceeded with a reading of bylaw 826-2024, which would allow them to implement the tax increase of 3.4% for 2024. The first reading was passed with a motion from Deputy Mayor Cindy Orom. The second reading passed with a motion from Coun. Northey. Coun. McIntosh motioned to proceed to the third and final reading which was then passed with a motion from Coun. Gust.