City council has committed to a review of the 2018 operating and capital budget with the hope of finding savings to pass on to tax payers.
“We committed from day one that we’re going to do that, so that’s by motion now,” said Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
The review process will start as soon as council has completed their strategic plan
“We’re going to immediately establish our…strategic plan,” he said, “we’re going to begin that mid-December.”
Chalmers said that they are waiting to review the budget until after the strategic plan is in place so that they can be sure both the plan and budget align.
“Here’s our go forward plan, now how does the money marry up to that,” he said.
Council plans to take as much time as they need through the winter to make sure the review is thorough and done right.
“We have every opportunity to modify that budget prior to…the end of April,” he said.
The April deadline is because the city must pass the tax rate bylaw for 2018 by that point.
Council is hopeful that they will be able to find some savings for Chestermere residents as they work through the budget.
“The community has told us they are looking for this council to roll up their sleeves and try and find some relief on their taxes,” said Chalmers.
In his opinion, the city’s budget is just like balancing personal finances.
“You either have to find new money, which is maybe more longer term, …or pulling back,” he said.
The city is looking for new money as it works to try and diversify the commercial tax base but until that process is completed the best place to find tax relief is to find savings.