Tuesday, February 1, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 5 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“We need to protect and conserve the water in the area.”
- Dale Paton  
- Conservation Biologist   
   
 
On Tuesday, January 25th, Council held a special budget meeting, where it directed Administration to make further changes to the proposed 2011 operating budget.
The meeting came after changes were proposed at the January 18th Council meeting, and Administration worked to resolve many of the issues.
The potential budget adjustments which were presented to Council last week totalled $354,351, representing the directions proposed by Councillors at the previous budgetary meetings, which have been ongoing since December.
The proposed cuts included: $30,000 from the municipal advertising budget, $34,200 from the cost of installing a new rug in the municipal office, $7,000 for the replacement of Council chairs and tables, $30,000 from Thunder in the Valley policing costs, $2,000 from the Bellevue and Coleman Community Associations, $19,300 from casual wages for the four fire departments, $8,505 from benefits on casual wages for the fire departments, $11,700 from public works casual wages, $24,400 from streets and roads casual labour, $7,000 for Coleman metering, $20,900 from sanitary sewer casual labour, $41,000 from sanitary landfill tipping fees, $4,800 from the Chamber of Commerce, $15,000 from retiling of the Pass Pool floor, $2,000 from the Crowsnest Museum Grant, $7,500 from the Allied Arts Grant, $5,646 from the Library Grant, $30,000 for the records archiving system, $10,000 from the parade float, $10,000 for the construction of a storage shed for the Hillcrest Fire Department, $30,000 for the purchase of a generator for the municipal office, and $15,000 from the sno-gate budget.
The budget also included $50,000 being added for the demolition of the Maplevue Hall.
The cuts would also have resulted in the final budget requiring a tax levy increase of only $7,039, or 0.1 per cent.
Councillors expressed their concerns over items remaining in the budget, namely the funding for recreational programs and facilities, the purchase of a track hoe, water metering, the addition of municipal staff, and depleting reserve funds.
 
One of the main recreational facilities discussed was the Pass PowderKeg ski hill, with most Councillors in favour of reducing municipal subsidizing.
“I think we should be reducing the ski hill’s budget request by 10 per cent every year, for the next three years,” said Councillor Larry Mitchell.
In Line
“Spending $3,000 for a computer and telephone for a clerk position... is way out of line.”
- Councillor Andrew Saje  
In Line
Chief Administrative Officer Tully Clifford encouraged Council to meet with the ski hill board, as well as the Pass Pool board to review municipal funding.
“From a strategic perspective, this will allow Council to determine if they feel value is being added to the community, or if changes are needed,” said Clifford.
Councillor Andrew Saje stated he was concerned about Administration’s spending habits, and the need for hiring of additional administrative staff.
“Spending $3,000 for a computer and telephone for a clerk position... is way out of line,” said Councillor Saje.
He said he was also opposed to the hiring of community services staff, and the addition of a Human Resources department unless covered through grants, as HR services are usually coupled with the duties of the financial department in communities of comparable size.
“When an organization experiences a decline in growth, it normally does not hire more staff, but instead changes the way it does business,” he said. “Our current approach is a reactive one that historically has limited success.”
In the end, Councillor Mitchell moved to direct Administration to provide further changes to the proposed budget, to be presented at the February 1st meeting of Council.
The motion was passed unanimously.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 5 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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