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January 20th, 2016 ~ Vol. 86 No. 3
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Council considering substantial cuts
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Council is considering a number of spending cuts to the 2016 budget that would limit a property tax increase in 2016 to 2.62 per cent.

At a meeting on Jan. 12, CAO Sheldon Steinke summarized the proposed spending cuts, which would save the municipality about $208,000 over the next three years. 

They include slashing about $25,000 from municipal reserves, increasing business license fees by two per cent, cutting the Economic Development Committee’s funding by $20,000 and forgoing repairs to streetlights, the Crowsnest Lake dock and the municipal parade float. 

It the cuts are implemented, property tax would increase 2.62 per cent in 2016. It would also increase 4.14 per cent in 2017 and another 4 per cent in 2018.

“We were striving for the two per cent,” said Steinke. “We’re short of that. If council wants to affect that .62 per cent further, we really have to have a serious talk about service levels.”
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Steinke was against cutting municipal reserves and said “we’re slaughtering our reserves to write down the mill rate for 2016… as CAO, I can’t recommend we do that.”

Councillor Bill Kovach expressed concern over the tax increases and a possible utility rate increase of about $10 per month. 

“For a person on pension, they don’t get that type of increase every year,” he said. “It’s going to be pretty tough for people that are on fixed incomes.”

Councillor Dean Ward suggested another budget meeting be held to discuss the proposals. 

“I’m not prepared to make a decision on this tonight,” he said. 

A final budget meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 25 at 9 a.m. in council chambers.
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January 20th ~ Vol. 86 No. 3
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