Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Clearwater County Press Release

Approved 2019 Operating and Capital Plans
(Rocky Mountain House, AB) – Following a three-day period of budget deliberations, Clearwater County Council approved the 2019-2021 Operating and 2019-2028 Capital Plans in a special meeting held December 17, 2018. These plans include approved operating and capital budgets for 2019.

The operating and capital plans maintain the core services that enhance Clearwater County residents’ quality of life, and addresses investments in infrastructure with a strong emphasis on economic development. The 2019 operating budget includes revenues of $51,275,519 and expenses of $52,050,916. The capital budget includes revenues of $12,994,121 and expenditures of $42,411,427. 

In the interest of greater financial transparency, amortization has been included in operating expenses within the 2019 budget. Amortization, or depreciation, represents the portion of the County’s capital assets expected to have been used up in delivering services over the course of the next fiscal year. As amortization does not involve an outflow of cash to the organization, the budgeted cost of amortization is added back later within the financial plan. These costs have always been included within the County’s financial plans but have not been as clearly identified. The approved 2018 budget has also been reformatted to provide consistency with the 2019 presentation.

"A balanced budget is essential to municipal governments’ fiscal responsibility,” said Reeve Jim Duncan. "Our job as Council is to ask questions and make tough decisions to ensure Clearwater County remains competitive and sustainable for long-term growth and development.”

Council debated a long list of capital projects, from roads to broadband and utilized reserves to fund priority projects and to balance the current years’ budget and future year projections. Some of the key initiatives include gravel road rehabilitation ($5.0M), grading projects ($1.5M), bridge repairs ($3.9M), water and sewer upgrades ($2.3M), Clearwater Broadband ($15.0M of which $8.0M is expected to come from provincial and federal grants), and the construction of the Condor Public Services Building to house the Condor Fire Hall ($3.8M) along with the Leslieville Fire Hall upgrades ($2.2M) expected to commence in 2020. 

Other notable adjustments to the County’s 2019 budget include the deferral of the Taimi Road paving project to 2020 to allow the material in the coulee to settle and the surfaced road infrastructure time to solidify.

Reeve Duncan continued by saying that, "paving projects and road network maintenance will continue to be a priority for this Council.” 

Council’s 2019 Budget had many adjustments from the organizational restructure in previous year, which was reflected in reallocation of funds from one cost centre to another.   

For more information on County budget or projects underway, please contact the Clearwater County office at 403-845-4444.