City budget calls for one percent increase

The City of North Battleford has released its draft 2021 budget document and as expected the budget is calling for a minimal property tax increase in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to that budget’s introduction, the city is calling for a one percent increase in property tax and a zero per cent increase in utility charges for 2021. That increase amounts to a revenue of an additional $135,000.

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That proposal now comes up for discussion during an expected three days of deliberations beginning on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m., with the meeting held on the Zoom platform. The budget document itself has been posted at the city’s website at https://www.cityofnb.ca/mrws/filedriver/Finance/2021_Budget_for_deliberations.pdf .

According to the budget document introduction, the City has identified a number of areas of focus and they include the following:

Continuing to focus on finding efficiencies within city operations;

Continuing to allocate reserve transfers to ensure money is set aside for future renewals;

Improving communication and planning around the city’s financial state by highlighting the current state of such items such as tax enforcement, reserves and cost per resident;

Improving interaction around the city’s budgetary process with the community, by providing sufficient lead time to read the budget ahead of public discussions;

Continuing to invest in infrastructure through the Underground Pipe and Asphalt Replacement program, whose combined budget is $3.2 million for 2021.

Listed below are the agendas for the three nights of deliberations.

Thursday, Dec. 3:

5:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. – General overview of budget 5:40pm to 6:15pm – Public Forum

6:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Empty Stocking Fund

6:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. – North Battleford Transit

6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.- Dekker Centre Performing Arts

7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.– North Battleford Boys & Girls Club

7:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Concern for Youth

7:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. – Midwest Food Resources

7:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.– NB Golf and Country Club

8 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. – Battlefords & Area Sexual Assault Centre

8:15 p.m to 8:30 p.m. – The Lighthouse North Battleford

Monday, Dec. 7:

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – General Government Services

6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Police Services

7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Fire & Protective Services

7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Planning & Development Services

Wednesday, Dec. 9:

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Leisure Services

7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Public Works Services (Operations, Waste Management, Water and Sanitary Sewer).

If a fourth night of deliberation is needed, that would be on Dec. 10. The budget would then go to the full meeting of regular council for discussion and possible approval on Dec. 14.

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