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First round of budget initiatives started by council

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Aug 23, 2023

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass met for a special budget meeting.

On August 17, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass met for a special budget meeting. During this meeting, the Council reviewed and determined which initiatives would go forward for the 2024 Budget.

The initiatives included projects recommended in 2023 as well as projects brought forward for the 2024 budget. 

The first initiatives discussed were brought forward for the 2024 budget, starting with the Coleman washroom. It is one of the three projects that may result in an increase in staffing levels, either additional hours or positions. The $160,000 is an approximate cost for one double bathroom, ship-ping and installation including concrete and excavation. 

The council also said yes to the columbarium initiative. A columbarium is a structure used to store and display urns. It is typically a wall, room, or building that can be indoors or outdoors and often has designated areas called niches. The cost was approved at $75,000 but may vary depending on size and material type.

An initiative objective involving Gazebo Park was approved, with a budget of $1,000,000 being added to “beautify Gazebo Park”, a two-year process if it goes ahead. The town currently has an agreement to buy the land as it was privately owned. They are hoping to host an open house at the end of September or early October. Initial concepts involving a plan for the area have already started with the open houses being held to see what people want from any possible upgrades. There is a potential for the initiative to be broken into phases. 

After being cancelled in the 2023 budget, the council approved funding for the completion of the Hillcrest Ball Diamonds at a cost of $1,000,000. The approval does not include the soccer fields.

The council said no to the ‘Solar Power Feasibility Study’ as they have already partnered with the neighbouring municipalities on getting a grant to complete the study. They did approve the purchase of a second street sweeper as the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass workers were unable to finish until the end of July with only one machine in operation. The expected cost of another sweeper will be $700,000.

Council voted against adding work on the train in Blairmore across from the post office to the budget as a grant is already being pursued by a community organization and the Municipality would be a partner.

The installation of a water feature/fountain was approved as a way to attract visitors with a budget of $10,000. The Multi-use Facility initiative was pushed back as there is still no place for the Municipality to place it.

An initiative to extend the life of the Bellevue Central Access Road and the West Hillcrest Road by 15 to 20 years, due to surface failures, with asphalt milling and overlay was added with a budget of $425,000. The ‘Road Deep Base Repair’ Initiative was also approved at a cost of $250,000. 

With an approximate cost of $35,000, a project involving facility fencing around municipal well-heads, pumphouses and generators to increase security was given the go-ahead by council. There was also an agreement on a budget of $650,000 to make upgrades to the MDM Community Centre in Bellevue.

Also added to the budget was $150,000 for crushing the stockpiled asphalt into sizes that can be used for deep base repair and on roads and laneways. Lastly was the addition of a pedestrian crossing light in Blairmore at 20 Avenue and 133 Street.

The next budget deliberation meeting is scheduled for September 18, at 9 a.m. at the Municipal Office.

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