Strategic Plan, Capital & Operating Budgets

DRAFT 2018 Budget (November 29, 2017) Cover
Operating Budget
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 Budget
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.

Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan is expected to be completed in early 2018.
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Investing In Our Future            
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.
Citizen Budgeting Tool
The Town of Hinton launched the use of an educational budget simulator to encourage citizen feedback on the 2017 budget. Question topics were chosen based on the results of the Ipsos Citizen Satisfaction Survey which was completed fall 2016.

Questions were designed to identify key themes related to community priorities on projects, services and programming and will assist in informed decision making by Hinton Town Council. Results from the budget consultation process may be reviewed and referenced in future budget cycles.

The Simulator for Budget 2018 is no longer available.