Strategic Plan, Capital & Operating Budgets
The Municipal Government Act (section 242 and 246) states that every municipality must adopt an operating and capital budget each year. It also dictates that the Tax Rate Bylaw, Fees, Rates, and Charges Bylaw, and any applicable Borrowing Bylaws be passed after the budget has been approved. These bylaws are approved as an outcome of Council’s budget deliberations.
The operating budget provides resources for the day-to-day costs of delivering municipal services to residents. Funding for the services delivered by the Town of Hinton stems from three main sources: property taxes, user fees, and grants. Some grants can be applied towards general operating expenditures, however the majority can only be used to fund specific programs such as FireSmart, Parent Link, and cost-sharing with the Province of Alberta to fund of 80% of the Family and Community Support Services programs.
Costs associated with the delivery of services include labour, fuel, electricity, and contracted services such as the RCMP. The operating budget also includes debenture payments and transfers to reserves. Transfers from reserves for proposed operational one-time expenditures are recorded in the 2018 Operational Budget. A few examples are the Community Grant Program, planning documents (such as area structure plans), building maintenance, and storm drainage maintenance.
Capital project decisions have long-lasting effects on the community and are supported by planning documents. The 2018 One-time Operational and Capital Budget reflects good planning, proactive maintenance, purchases, and the completion of infrastructure plans to help guide the municipality with its long term capital decisions.While Administration prepares capital project Plans, it is Council that decides which projects to include or defer; Council may even offer an alternative to project implementation.
The purpose of the capital budget is:
• Maintenance and lifecycle (ML) repairs of Town Infrastructure;
• One-time and emergent (OE) maintenance and repairs;
• Rehabilitation and revitalization (RR);
• Planning and design (PD) of future assets; and
• Creation/purchase construction (CC) of new assets.
Capital decisions should consider the ongoing maintenance of existing and new assets to prevent an infrastructure deficit in the future. Investing in infrastructure such as roads, water lines, facilities, technology, and vehicles is an investment in the Town’s future. Maintenance and preservation of all assets provides the essential services residents rely on each day for health, safety, and enjoyment.
There are two components to the capital budget: one-time operational projects and capital projects. The first component is for one-time operational projects that are for periodic maintenance, planning documents, master plans, and emergent issues requiring support that are not part of the daily operational budget and are expensed in the year the transactions occur. The second component is capital projects where the Town invests in assets that could include the development, construction, maintenance, or repair of other tangible capital assets. These have a useful life beyond one year and are used on a continuous basis.
They are recorded as an asset and amortized over the projected life of the assets. Projects are usually approved on the total cost and are often completed over multiple years. There are a number of projects that are ongoing and are captured under the in-progress section.
The Strategic Plan is expected to be completed in early 2018.
Hinton Town Council must make choices that keep us on track in achieving our vision of a vibrant community. Growing reserve funds will ensure that the community has savings available for large projects or undertakings that preserve or enhance the quality of life for citizens.
The Simulator for Budget 2018 is no longer available.