The County of Grande Prairie’s preliminary budget was set for $125.5 million back in December and now it’s time to finalize it.
Reeve Leanne Beaupre says it may be an election year, but that won’t change how the final budget is handled.
“Every budget is important to us, because every budget cycle we get a phone call from our ratepayers saying we’re happy with where you’ve invested our tax dollars, or we’re not happy. Regardless that it’s an election year, I think budget is budget and it’s always best to be good stewards with our tax payer’s dollars.”
Infrastructure will once again be a focus of the 2017 final budget. Nearly $35 million was set aside in the preliminary budget for roads and bridges.
That said, Beaupre isn’t expecting much to change from the preliminary budget.
“There will be recommendations from administration, whether there’s any growth from our final assessment. Any surpluses that we may have acquired, there will be recommendations either to pay down some debt, or put them into infrastructure reserves,” she said.
There has been some additional asks since December, including for the 211 Program to be implemented in the Peace. An initial start-up cost for that would be $37,600 with annual fees of roughly $74,700.
There was also a little over $54 million for capital projects in the preliminary budget.
Tax rates are expected to remain on par with 2016 rates.