Building a safe, vibrant and inclusive city
As your City Council, we have a common vision – to help build a safe, vibrant and inclusive city, one that welcomes everyone to live, work, and play.
Our community has been growing at a steady and sustainable pace over the past year, and I look forward to a busy and productive year, as we start implementing planned initiatives, and a number of capital projects get underway.
The 2016 Budget was approved in December, which allows the City to maintain our current operational service delivery levels.
Council has worked diligently to prepare a prudent budget that promotes sustainable practices for today as well as looking forward to our future requirements. It is responsive to the needs and preferences of our citizens, and was established through public consultation and through collaboration with community organizations.
The 2016 Operating Budget is balanced, with total revenues and expenses, just under $32 Million.
The municipal property tax rate increase is estimated at 3.6 percent. It will be ratified in April after a final review of assessments and after the Province sets the education tax rate.
Residential utility accounts will see an increase of approximately $11.35 per month for an average household in 2016.
The 2016 Capital Budget has slightly over $14 Million in new capital projects, including:
- The 2016 Capital Works Program, which includes upgrades, replacement and re-construction of existing infrastructure in the downtown
- Installation of pedestrian lights at Woodland Drive and Maple Bay
- The final phases of the Safety Code upgrades and expansion at the Barnett Arena.
- Upgrades to the Lacombe Police Service’s radio system and the acquisition of equipment for a local police dispatch service
- Annual fleet and equipment replacement programs
Written submissions were once again accepted from residents and evaluated by Council for inclusion into the budget. Eight ideas were shortlisted by Council, and after careful review, the following public suggestions were approved for inclusion in the 2016 Capital Budget:
- Right-hand turn lane on Woodland Drive at Highway 2A
- Drainage control from Fairway Drive and 58 Street on 54 Ave. was added to the Snow Clearing Policy
As Council, we appreciate the public bringing forward their submissions for consideration, and we will continue to incorporate this inclusive process into future budget cycles.
As far as carryover work from 2015, I am pleased to say that the bulk of the pool and arena renovations are scheduled to be completed this year, and we look forward to finalizing the entire project in 2017.
We are continuing work that started in 2015 with Lacombe County to review and update the Intermunicipal Development Plan. The plan looks at how we can work cooperatively with Lacombe County on land development matters along our mutual borders. We expect to complete this work this summer.
We also partnered with Lacombe County last year to conduct an Airport Facility Review. We have commissioned a study to look at future governance, capital infrastructure requirements, and business operating models for the Lacombe Airport to ensure it is sustainable into the future.
While Council and staff work to maintain and enhance the city’s built infrastructure, and lay the foundations for future growth through responsible planning, we will continue adding to the richness of our community by supporting the many community events that are uniquely Lacombe.
We will continue to work together with residents, business, and other stakeholders to meet the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead with creativity and enthusiasm.
- Mayor Steve Christie