Whitecourt Town Council has approved the 2022 Interim Operating and Capital Budget. The Interim Budget includes over $42 million in capital and operating expenditures, and requires a 2.61% overall tax change.
“The 2022 Interim Budget recognizes the financial impact the pandemic has had on local families and businesses, but also our responsibility to meet the needs of our community both today and tomorrow,” stated Whitecourt Mayor Tom Pickard. “While there are still circumstances that could change the budget prior to final approval in the spring, including the results of the arbitration with Woodlands County, this budget reflects the service needs of residents and Council’s strategic priorities and direction.”
The budget maintains the $1.365 million in reductions made in 2019 to 2021, and allows the municipality to maintain service levels and continued investment in local infrastructure. The 2022 Interim Budget Report can be viewed on the Whitecourt website at www.whitecourt.ca/Government.
2022 Capital Budget Highlights:
- The 2022 Street Improvement Program includes street, lighting, and sidewalk repairs at locations throughout the community.
- Construction on the Water System Upgrade Project will be completed. The project includes construction of a dedicated supply main and other system upgrades, including pressure reducing measures to improve the distribution network and fire flows, as well as the extension of the waterline form east of Dahl Drive to the bottom of Eastlink Park.
2022 Operating Budget Highlights:
- Continued collaboration and development of new agreements through voluntary arbitration with Woodlands County for services that benefit residents of both municipalities.
- Following the receipt of $15.6 million for the construction of an Arts & Culture Centre and new library from the Investing in Canadian Infrastructure Program, the Town of Whitecourt will be re-engaging community stakeholders and members, and undertaking a public education campaign in early 2022.
- Complete a review of collection and disposal services for residential waste, recycling and compost services.
- The new Whitecourt website will launch in early 2022 and will incorporate a new look, improved navigation and interactive tools – including a municipal app. Whitecourt will also expand its social media presence to include Instagram.
The 2022 Budget will be finalized in the spring of 2022 once the Provincial budget is adopted, and final assessment figures are established. Specific tax rate impacts will vary by property type depending on the assessed value of a home or business, and will be determined once the final budget is adopted.