Town of Legal Council formally passed the 2016 Operating Budget on June 6, 2016 approving a tax increase of 3.91 which includes the municipal services, provincial education property tax and senior foundation requisitions. The municipal services portion of the tax increase is to pay for a range of civic services and programs such as: By-law enforcement, snow removal, street sweeping, street and sidewalk Repairs, recreational facilities, community events, walking trails, parks and playgrounds, street lights. The education tax is Provincial legislation which mandates Municipalities to collect Education Tax on half of the Alberta Government. This is not revenue for the Town, but must be paid to the Province. The seniors’ foundation requisitions is collected by the Town and paid to Sturgeon Foundation to provide housing for seniors.
The 2016 operating budget has increased by $39,849.84 from 2015 as a result of requisition increases of $19,928.02 from the Province for education tax and $601.17 from Sturgeon Foundation. As well, there was a $6,734.06 shortfall from the decision made by the provincial government to terminate the Grants in Lieu of Taxes. The remaining amount of $12,586.59 is for municipal services.
TOWN OF LEGAL 2016 CAPITAL BUDGET
The capital budget approved by Town Council on June 13, 2016 will have residents witness plenty of construction activity in our community for the remainder of the 2016 season. Capital improvement will include curb & gutter and sidewalk improvements along Highway 651 (50 avenue), road reconstruction on 49 avenue between 47 street and 49 avenue, replacement of the Wastewater (Sanitary) trunk line from our lagoon site to the intersection 47 street & 49 avenue approximate 1.7 kilometers in length, collaboration efforts with the Legal Curling Club for a roof replacement on the curling rink and the purchase of new public works vehicle.
HIGHWAY 651 IMPROVEMENTS-For the last number of years the Town of Legal has been lobbying government officials for road repairs on highway 651. We are excited that Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation has listened to our concerns with the announcement that an asphalt overlay from the intersection of Highway #651 & Highway #2 extending to the eastern boundaries of the Town of Legal will receive a much need overlay. Collaboration efforts between the Town and Alberta Transportation will see concrete sidewalks, curb & gutter improvements along 50 avenue (Main Street) at a cost of $400,000.00 where the Town will be responsible for approximately $200,000.00. Revenues sources for the project will come from a combination of grants - Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) Capital and Federal Gas Tax Grant.
49 AVE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS- In 2015, the Town undertook a road improvement project which included water& sewer improvements, curb and gutter replacement and an asphalt overlay. Unfortunately the asphalt overlay did not occur as unsuitable road structure conditions were encountered therefore delaying the work to 2016. The project has been reassessed and progress will be made to rebuild the road structure and paved accordingly. The cost of the project is estimated at $310,000.00 and revenue sources will come from MSI Capital Grants.
WASTEWATER TRUNK LINE REPLACEMENT- In 2007, the Town of Legal engaged AECOM Engineering to conduct an assessment of our water & wastewater infrastructure system. The report identified capacity issues within the system and provided recommended improvements to the systems. Over the years, the Town took a proactive approach in dealing with the required improvements sourcing and taking advantage of Federal and Provincial Grant Funding programs as they became available thus lessening the burden on our tax payers. In 2015 the Town was successful in their grant application to the Small Communities Fund Program (SCF) for the replacement of the wastewater trunk line. The grant program is a 1/3 funding partnership between the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments. The Town was very excited to hear that out of the 300+ grant application submitted for funding to the SCF the Town was one of the 56 successful municipalities to receive funding. The total grant amount approved from the Federal & Provincial Government (over 5 years) for the wastewater trunk line replacement is $1,533,334.00.
The wastewater project was tendered in May of 2016 and we are excited to announce that the 1.7 kilometers of sewer line will be replaced this year and construction will start by mid July. The total costs of the project including engineering costs are $2,685,094.00. Funding sources for the project will be as follows:
Small Community Fund Grant $1,533,334.00
MSI Capital Grants (2016, 2017, 2018) $ 770,000.00
Transfers from 2016 Operating Budget $ 37,000.00
Transfer from Reserves $ 344,760.00
Town council approved a short term borrowing bylaw in the amount of $1,298,720.00 which will be paid back over a period of three years. The debenture loan was required for cash flow purposes as the SCF reimburses grant funds once proof of payment is submitted by the Town, to date the allocation available from the Federal and Provincial is $1,068,374.00 which means that in the next three years the remaining $464,960.00 will be made available. The Town is also relying on the future MSI Capital grant to assist in funding the project however these funds will not be available until the province approves budgets for 2017 & 2018.
CURLING RINK ROOF REPLACEMENT
The Town of Legal has approved $101,440.00 (50% of project costs) to the Legal Curling Club for the roof repayment. The estimated cost of the new roof is $202,880.00 and the Curling Club is awaiting approval in the amount of $101,440.00 from the Community Facility Enhancement Grant Program (CFEP). Town funding will come from reserves. In the event the CFEP grant is not approved, the project will not proceed until we can source other grants.
UTILITY VEHICLE REPLACEMENT
Council approved expenditure in the amount of $39,000.00 to purchase a ¾ ton vehicle for public works.
- Working in partnership with Centralta (ACFA) to erect a LED Panel Sign at the fire hall. The sign is tentatively scheduled to be installed by mid August