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City of Lacombe unveils 2018 draft budget

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

City of Lacombe residents speak with members of council and administration on the 2018 operating and capital budget drafts during the Budget Open House last Thursday. Residents had until Nov. 22 to provide feedback, which will be presented to council Nov. 27. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

City of Lacombe residents speak with members of council and administration on the 2018 operating and capital budget drafts during the Budget Open House last Thursday. Residents had until Nov. 22 to provide feedback, which will be presented to council Nov. 27. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

Lacombe taxpayers will see a tax increase of just over one per cent in 2018.

The 1.3 per cent figure aligns with the consumer price index which represents inflation. Council believes the number is a lot more palatable for residents, compared to last year’s 3.28 per cent increase.

“It’s a reasonable increase. Of course, no one would like to see an increase at all but that’s not realistic,” said City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey.

“Budget is certainly a compromise time. There’s always areas I think a person could improve upon but overall I’m pleased we’re keeping a reasonable rate.”

Financial Service Manager Justin de Bresser said one of the ways they were able to keep the tax rate low was reducing a transfer to reserves which goes into the reserve fund to pay for capital.

“Once we start paying off debt, and we have some debt coming off in the next three years, we’re going to start putting back into transfer,” he said. “Hopefully over the next three to four years, we’ll have that back to where it is now.”

Total revenues and expenses for the 2018 operating budget are pegged at $35,469,125.

New debt borrowing for the year totals $467,949, including $15,290 for the police station, $249,542 for the east-side arena expansion, $131,683 for Main Street upgrades and $71,434 for West Area Servicing.

Meanwhile, the 2018 capital project expenditures total $17,703,317.

Major projects this year include the West Area servicing and 76 St. Intersection upgrades - a combined $15,175,608.

In Blackfalds, residents can expect a 1.1 per cent property tax increase. See Page 6 for more.

For more information on the 2018 budget process, visit lacombe.ca/doing-business/finance-budgets/annual-budget-process.

Feedback received from the Budget Open House will be presented to council at the Nov. 27 regular meeting where budget deliberations are expected to begin. 



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