Municipal District’s 2018 budget is $17.4 million, up over last year

By Lawrence Gleason, Local Press Writer
The 2018 budget for the Municipal District of Willow Creek has been passed after discussions in special council sessions not open to the public. Council moved to open council to the public to pass its 2018 budget that outlines $17,423,975 in revenue, including taxes and federal and provincial grants, and $17,364,500 in planned expenditures for 2018. The M.D. budget could have a surplus of $59,475 by year-end.
The 2018 budget is $2,650,190 larger than its 2017 budget, due to additional work due to be done by the transportation department, much of that paid for by provincial and federal grants. The increase includes $1 million for water and sewer work on the lines to the airport industrial park, which is being taken over by the M.D. from the Town of Claresholm, with plans to encourage new business to locate there.
In 2018 the M.D. revenue will be $12,647,900, collected in taxes and smaller items such as road allowances leases ($40,000) and well drilling licences ($70,000), but 29 per cent of that total, $3,747,100, will go out the door right away for requisitions.
The Alberta School Foundation Requisition of $3.28 million is taken away, to run schools in the province from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The Seniors Foundation Requisition is $414,250, to help fund senior’s residences in the M.D. Smaller requisitions for Claresholm and Nanton cost $28,800.
Transportation is the largest expenditure for the M.D., $6,163,000 in 2018, as it maintains its network of 2,250 kilometres of roadway. That is up from $5.7 million budgeted last year, with $5.57 million spent.
Revenues for transportation include $928,575 in two provincial grants.
Wage and salaries for those employed in the M.D. transportation department are just over $2.5 million.
Spending in the transportation department in 2018 will include the purchase of one grader, budgeted at just over $1 million, and buying a mechanic service truck for $150,000.
Gas and oil for vehicles will cost the M.D. transportation department $550,000 in 2018, a budget estimate $50,000 higher than in 2017. Repairs and parts have been budgeted $330,000, an increase of $10,000 over last year. Gravel pavement and cold mix will cost another $530,000, which is what was spent last year, within $200. Oiling roads will cost $350,000, which is $25,000 more than last year.
Magnesium dust control, which will be used on heavily used roads has $300,000 budgeted for that, which is $50,000 more than last year.
A new GPS system will cost the M.D. $240,000. The GPS in the M.D., among other jobs, aids in tracking graders working in real time, and marking problem road or bridge areas to be taken care of, and tracking areas sprayed for weeds.
The Agricultural Service Board has been budgeted $614,800.
Emergency Services has been budgeted $314,100 up from $249,800 last year. The increase includes the anticipated hiring of one more Community Police Officer. A senior firefighter, Kelly Starling, already working as a CPO, would then be used to fill-in when needed and for holidays.
Fire departments have been budgeted $452,200. Of that, the Claresholm Fire Department will cost the M.D. $109,400, Fort Macleod $104,500, the Nanton Fire Department $101,500, Stavely $85,900, and the Granum Fire Department $50,900,
Every three years an aerial ortho photography project, to photograph the municipal district from the air, is done, and that will take place in 2018. The MD has set aside $808,000 for that project.
Family and Community Support Services grants are broken down so Claresholm, Fort Macleod and Nanton each receive $47,123, Stavely $38,955, and Granum $17,278.