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2018 Budget

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News Release - Dec 12, 2017


Residents invited to follow Council workshops and make sense of the municipal budget

Council has approved new dates for budget workshop sessions that will run from Feb. 7 – 10, followed by the final budget deliberation anticipated for late February. The Municipality is also announcing dates for public information sessions that will lead up to Council’s budget deliberations.

News Release - Dec 12, 2017


Council approves interim operating budget and looks ahead to budget work in the New Year

Council passed an interim Operating Budget of $100 million on Dec. 12, 2017. The interim Operating Budget will provide for the continuation of operations and staffing requirements for the first quarter of 2018 (Jan. – March 2018). Budget documents and videos are also available online in the Council Agendas and Minutes section.

Downloads

Budget Primer

Every year, a budget is established to provide a foundation for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to meet the service and infrastructure needs of residents. For those that are interested in becoming more engaged with this process, budget documents are available on the municipal website. Residents are also invited to watch budget workshops and meetings in Council Chamber or online at rmwb.ca/council.

Stay tuned for more budget updates by following us here, on Facebook or Twitter, or contact Pulse at 780-743-7000 or rmwb.ca/pulse.

Making Sense of the Municipal Budget

Do you have questions about the budget? Are you wondering how the budget process works?

Now you can make sense of the budget by reviewing the Municipality’s new Budget Primer document.

The Budget Primer is like the Coles Notes for the budget, and is a great tool for those with questions about how the budget works and what it means for residents.

Public Information Sessions
– January and February 2018

Do you want to talk with someone about the budget?

Residents are invited to participate online or in person at a number of public information sessions. In the coming weeks, online and public information sessions will be held to discuss the budgeting process, the importance of the budget, and how residents can be more engaged.

Attend one of the sessions to ask questions and find out more about the budget.

Information Session Details:

  • Jan. 23 – Fort McKay School (Northlands School), Fort McKay Time: 5 p.m., before Council meeting at 6 p.m., and 30 minutes post meeting.
  • Jan. 25 – McMurray Experience – Jubilee Plaza (9909 Franklin Ave.), Fort McMurray Time: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 30 – McMurray Experience  – Jubilee Plaza (9909 Franklin Ave.), Fort McMurray Time: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 1 – MacDonald Island Park – 1 C.A. Knight Way, Fort McMurray Time: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Budget Workshops in Council Chamber - February 2018

Residents are also invited to upcoming budget workshops that are scheduled from Feb. 7 - 10, 2018. Sessions will run in Council Chamber from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (Schedule subject to change. Stay tuned here or on social media for updates.)

Follow Council as they review the full 2018 Operating and Capital Budget. Get engaged in the process and take part by following the meetings (in Council Chamber at 9909 Franklin Ave., or online via live stream video), or by participating in the delegation process.

Find out more about Council meetings, the delegation process, agendas and budget documents at rmwb.ca/council

The Budget Process

Every time your street is plowed, your garbage or recycling is collected, you visit a trail or park, or catch the bus, tax dollars are at work. Decisions made as part of the budget development determine funding for the programs and services that maintain our quality of life.

Developing the budget involves making decisions and prioritizing between essential programs, infrastructure demands, and the wants and needs of residents. It is the responsibility of the Mayor and Councillors to lead Administration through this process and to make those difficult decisions on behalf of taxpayers.

The Budget Cycle

The Municipality’s budget cycle follows the calendar year: January 1 through December 31, and Council approves a one-year operating budget and a two year financial plan, as well as a multi-year capital budget and capital plan.

The public part of the process usually begins in the fall, and Council publicly reviews the proposed budget that has been developed by Administration for the following year. Once this budget has been thoroughly reviewed and discussed, the proposed budget will be brought to Council once again for final approval.

2018 – A Slightly Different Approach to Budgeting

Much like the process for the 2017 Budget, Administration adopted an interim Operating Budget for the first quarter of 2018 (January – March). The Council approved budget is intended to provide for the continuation of operations and staffing requirements while a budget for the full year of 2018 is developed, reviewed and considered.

Due to many considerations that impact the entire region — benchmarking with other communities, economic slowdown, updated population projections, and ongoing wildfire recovery — we’re taking a slightly different approach to budgeting.

In addition, a municipal election was held on October 16, 2017, and a new Council has been elected to represent the region for the next four years. With a new Mayor and a number of new Councillors in office, the recommendation for an interim budget will allow time for Council to get established in their roles, and provide an opportunity for them to review and digest a significant amount of information so they can make informed decisions.

Next Steps

On December 12, 2017, Council adopted an Interim Operating Budget for the first quarter of 2018 (Jan. – March). This was the first part of the public process for the 2018 Budget.

As part of the next steps, residents are invited to take part in the public information sessions scheduled for January and early February 2018. See the schedule of sessions above.

Following the public information sessions, Council is scheduled to review the budget in detail through a series of budget workshops to be held in Council Chamber from Feb. 7 – 10 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). Residents are invited to attend the workshops, participate through the delegation process, or watch the meetings online via live video stream.

Following the budget workshops, the finalized budget is anticipated to be presented to Council on Feb. 27 for their final review and approval.

The municipal budget process is responsible, transparent and accountable to taxpayers. Stay tuned for updates here, or visit rmwb.ca/council for meeting schedules, agendas, delegation information and live streaming video.

Delegations

Residents’ involvement is an essential part of the democratic process. As a means of making the budget process more accountable to taxpayers, residents are given opportunities to make a presentation to Council throughout the budget-deliberation process. Visit rmwb.ca/council for more information about making a presentation to Council.

Rural Budget access

Residents in the rural communities are invited to attend the public information sessions and take part in the budget process. Residents can also attend the budget meeting and workshops in Council Chamber or watch via live streaming video.

For those interested in watching the budget meeting or workshops via live stream video, please connect with your local contact office to make a booking.

Budget Workshops – Feb. 7 – 10: Booking deadline is Feb. 2 at 4:30 p.m.

Budget Council Meeting – Feb. 27: Booking deadline is Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m.

Municipal Budgeting Terms

A balanced budget is a budget in which revenues are equal to expenses.

Covers the costs of constructing and renewing buildings, parks and infrastructure, which includes roads, trail systems and underground utilities.

Municipalities often borrow money to help finance major capital projects such as sewer systems, roads or buildings. When a municipality borrows money, this is called a debenture and is used to obtain funds, much like a mortgage or loan.

A surplus occurs if actual revenues exceed actual expenses. Every year, a balanced budget is presented to Council for approval based on estimated revenues and estimated expenses.
Revenue is funds that come from property taxes and user fees (fees for permits, services, etc.).
The Municipality may receive grant funding from other levels of government (Government of Alberta or Federal Government). These grants may be unconditional or targeted to specific projects.
This is a temporary financial document that covers a shorter period than a normal budget cycle of one year. This is typically used by governments that are in periods of transition in administrators or decision makers.
- The Municipal Government Act, or the MGA, is the provincial statute that creates and governs Alberta’s municipalities, including the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

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