Deliberations for the 2021 budget ended today with Council adopting the budget, including both capital and operating, with a zero per cent tax rate increase. The overall $170.8 million budget includes estimated expenditures of $82.0 million for general operations, $88.8 million for capital, and $5.8 million for debenture principle payments.  

“Through the approval of this budget, Council has maintained essential services and programs while also ensuring investment in critical roads and infrastructure, proactive planning, community support, and safety programs which all, ultimately, improve our quality of life in the County of Grande Prairie,” said Reeve Leanne Beaupre. “Of course, the budget also addresses the continuing challenges placed before us by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic climate affecting us all.” 

This approved zero per cent increase is in line with what Council approved during December’s interim budget deliberations.  

“We recognize the challenges residents and businesses continue to face and this is one step The County can take to relieve some of the financial pressure,” said Beaupre. “While the County still needs to collect municipal taxes to fund essential services like fire, waste management, road maintenance, and water supply, we hope the hold on the tax rate will help households and businesses in our community financially.” 

Some of the services, programs and projects Council approved for 2021 include: 

  • Approximately 56 per cent of the capital budget is dedicated to road and bridge projects. 

  • $6 million in recreation, community, culture, library, seniors and special needs transportation, and FCSS grants to various organizations and neighboring municipalities per the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework agreements. 

  • $6.7 million for critical infrastructure projects to support sustainable growth, including a new water treatment plant in a new community water system for La Glace, landfill cell and leachate pond for the Clairmont Centre for Recycling and Waste Management, and to update design standards for land use planning. 

  • $1.1 million for the new equipment, equipment replacements and upgrades for Regional Fire Service. 

Council also approved, in principle, Fiscal Plans for 2022 – 2023 and Capital Plans for 2022 – 2025. The plans are outlined in the Council Budget Meeting Agenda, although project details are subject to change.  

The overall taxable assessment increased by $284 million (an increase of 3.07 per cent over 2020).  

In 2021, an average residential property valued at $435,000 will pay a total property tax bill of $2,872.70: 

  • $1,772.63 for the municipal services portion (stays with the County of Grande Prairie) 

  • $1,080.45 for provincial education (provided to the Province of Alberta) 

  • $19.62 for seniors lodging (provided to the Grande Spirit Foundation) 

Individual municipal tax amounts may vary based on property assessments and changes to market value.  

The 2020 surplus of $7.6 million represents less than 5 per cent of the County’s total budget and results from departmental cost savings, impacts from COVID-19, including staff reductions, financial assistance from the Province (MOST Grant) and postponed projects.  

Find out more about the 2021 interim operating and capital budget in the attached Budget Highlights or at www.countygp.ab.ca/budget.  

 

-30- 

Additional information: Budget Highlights below. 

 

Media Contacts: 

Leanne Beaupre 
Reeve 
780-814-3121
Joulia Whittleton
CAO 
780-532-9722 

 

Budget Highlights 

Capital Budget 

Approximately $31.8 million is being invested in capital road and bridge projects. 

The proposed new construction includes 15 km of road surfacing including the paving of gravel roads, surfaced road overlays, and re-construction road projects. 

*Grant funding is estimated at $11.3 million, including an estimated $1.3 million Federal Gas Tax grant, and an estimated $10 million in funding from the Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant. 

The following is a list of scheduled road projects: 

  • Windwood Lane Rehabilitation – Overlay 0.7 km 

  • Bezanson Road South/100 St – Base, pave 0.34 km 

  • Clairmont North/107A Ave and 99 St – Overlay 0.9 km 

  • River Road Estates/Township Road 705A – Overlay 0.33 km 

  • Wynngate Phase 4 Rehabilitation/ 96 St, 96A St, 112 Ave – Paving, curb and gutter 1.4 km  

  • 156 Ave/Township Road 721A from 98 St to RR 55 to Bauman Road – Overlay 4.1km 

  • Range Road 51 from Township Road 714A to Highway 43 – Overlay 5.7 km 

  • Range Road 63 from Township Road 734 south to Hwy 672 – grade, pase, pave 3.2 km 

  • Range Road 63 from Township Road 734 to Highway 59 – Grade 3.2 km 

  • Range Road 123 from Township Road 732 to Highway 671– grade 6.6 km 

  • Township Road 744 from Range Road 54 to Range Road 60 – grade 3.2 km 

  • Range Road 53 and Township Road 714 – intersection improvements 

  • Range Road 53 from Township Road 714 north – base, pave 0.6 km 

  • Clairmont Parkway to the current new phases of Northfield landing, north of Grande Spirit Seniors Lodge – construct new roadway and stormwater infrastructure 

  • $7 million for bridge replacement and rehabilitation projects including: 

  • Rio Grande Bridge replacement 

  • Bear River Bridge replacement 

  • $2 million to repave Highway 724 (cost-shared with the Province) 

  • $2.2 million for spot construction, road widening and chip sealing projects 

  • $3.33 million for the Highway 40 Twinning and Bridge Construction (cost-shared with the Province and the MD of Greenview) 

  • $395,000 for Ditch Rehabilitation Program as part of the flood prevention efforts 

  • $300,000 for tree clearing from intersection sites and for intersection investigations to help mitigate safety risks  

  • $70,000 for Road Condition Assessment Study 

In addition to road construction, the capital budget includes: 

  • $7.3 million for equipment replacements 

  • $4.7 million to construction Landfill Cell the Clairmont Centre for Recycling and Waste Management  

  • An additional $390,500 to build a leachate pond for the Clairmont Centre for Recycling and Waste Management (to fund the $1 million project)  

  • An additional $250,000 for Phase 1B of the La Glace Community Water System (which will fund the $1.4 million project with grant funding estimated at $750,000) 

  • $217,000 for Information Technology server upgrades  

  • $175,000 for new equipment for Regional Fire Service  

  • An additional $150,000 for new fire training centre at the Dunes Fire Hall  

  • $50,000 for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) upgrades for water systems in the hamlets of Bezanson, La Glace, Teepee Creek and Valhalla to allow instant information and data transfer to the operators remotely 

  • $50,000 for Public Works Office renovations  

  • $21,650 for an E-Ticketing System for Regional Enforcement Services to implement Phase 2 of Bill 21 (provincial legislation) 

  • $20,000 for Storm Drain Maintenance 

  • $10,000 for a Power Correction Box for the Crosslink County Sportsplex  

Operating Budget 

The operating budget proposed for 2021 includes: 

  • $6 million in recreation, community, culture, library, seniors and special needs transportation, and FCSS grants to various organizations, and neighbouring municipalities as per Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework agreements 

  • Additional $973,000 for Evergreen Park due to COVID pandemic impacts to support operations for a total contribution of $1.4 million 

  • $150,000 to update design standards for land use planning and infrastructure 

  • $40,000 for Clairmont Centre for Recycling and Waste Management scale software and Landfill Tag Program upgrades 

  • One Full Time Equipment Operator for Public Works to maintain existing services and/or infrastructure to ensure effective transportation networks 

  • $20,000 for Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum maintenance 

Schedule of Fees and Rates Changes 

Curbside waste collection service fees will increase from $9.50 to $9.75 bi-monthly, and for recycling collection from $4.75 to $5.00 bi-monthly. 

Land Lease for Commercial and Industrial use has changed from market value per acre/year to $400, and for Agricultural and Recreational use from market value $0.60 per acre/year. 

Environmental enquiries decreased from $200 per request to $20. 

Administration fees for Subdivision and Development, and Joint Assessment Board appeals increased from $75 to $500. 

The schedule of fees, rates and charges is available at www.countygp.ab.ca

*An earlier version of this media release noted the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant funding as $7.1 million, which has been corrected.