Following deliberations, County Council approved the 2022 capital and operating budgets today with no increase to the municipal tax rate. The overall $188 million budget includes $104 million for general operations, $7 million for debt payments and $77 million for capital which includes $39.7 million in projects carried over from previous years. 

The zero per cent increase to the municipal tax rate endorses what Council approved during the interim budget deliberations in December.  

“This is the third year in a row where Council and Administration have developed a balanced budget that invests in critical projects and essential programs with no increase to the municipal portion of property taxes,” said Reeve Leanne Beaupre. “We recognize the pressures the continued economic recovery and global pandemic have put on many households and businesses. We are thankful that our strategic decision-making allows us to continue providing some relief to County taxpayers.” 

Once again, the budget maintains service levels and continues to place the County in a stable financial position.  

“The 2022 budget balances support for our residents, communities and business while continuing to ensure the County’s fiscal sustainability in the face of increased pressures to our bottom line,” said Reeve Beaupre.  

The County is contending with millions of dollars in lost revenue following provincial changes to how industrial properties are assessed. Between the holiday on taxes for new well and pipeline assessments and the permanently eliminated Well Drilling Equipment tax, lost revenue is estimated to be more than $4.5 million. Along with the changes to assessment, there are approximately $2 million dollars in unpaid property taxes. 

Continued growth in assessment over the year, including new development as well as market value inflation, allowed the County to balance the overall budget.  

The budget also includes financial implications from the Hythe dissolution, including inherited debt and a sizeable infrastructure deficit. Council adopted a balanced approach to bring Hythe’s municipal tax rate in line with the rest of the County over time. This phased tax rate reduction will take place from 2022 to 2025. 

Some of the services, programs and projects Council approved for 2022 include: 

  • Approximately 69 per cent of the capital budget is going towards capital road and bridge projects including carryovers

  • $10 million toward the Highway 40 Twinning and Bridge Construction project, $3.33 million per year from 2021 to 2023 cost-shared with the Province and MD of Greenview 

  • $6.5 million in recreation, community, culture, library, seniors & special needs transportation, and FCSS grants to various organizations across the region 

  • $3.8 million in contributions to Aquatera for the Clairmont Regional Lift Station  

  • $2.4 million in Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) contributions, cost sharing agreements with other municipalities, including the City of Grande Prairie and the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley 

  • $1.45 million to the Town of Beaverlodge for their new fire hall from 2019 to 2022, including an additional $450,000 for increased project costs 

  • $1.3 million to the City of Grande Prairie for the revenue sharing agreement which has the purpose of fostering regional development (share of municipal tax revenue – 20 per cent from the co-generational facility and 10 per cent on any new commercial/industrial development in areas serviced by Aquatera)  

  • $596,667 to Aquatera to subsidize wastewater rate increases for County residents connected to the system 

  • $200,000 for the land acquisition and design for the Teepee Creek Fire Hall replacement 

Find out more about the 2022 operating and capital budget in the attached Budget Highlights. 

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Additional information: Budget Highlights attached 

Media Contacts:
Leanne Beaupre Reeve
 780-814-3121 

Joulia Whittleton  
 CAO 
780-532-9722

 

Budget Highlights 

Capital Budget 

Approximately $53 million is being invested in capital road and bridge projects, including $25 million for capital road and bridge construction projects carried over from prior years and $28 million for new projects scheduled for 2022. 

The proposed new 2022 construction projects include 52.87 km of road surfacing including surfaced road overlays, bridge rehabilitation, and re-construction road projects.  

New grant funding is estimated at $7.7 million, including an estimated $2.7 million of federal funding from the Canada Community Building Fund (CCBF), formerly known as the Gas Tax grant, an estimated $4.2 million in funding from the Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant, and an Alberta Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) grant of $800,000. 

The following is a list of 2022 scheduled road projects:  

  • 148 Ave. from Highway 2 east to 92 St. – overlay 1.6 km 

  • Althen Corner 162 Ave, 101 St., and 102 St. – overlay 1.3 km 

  • Precision/Kehr Rehab – overlay 3.4 km 

  • Juggers Landing – overlay 0.7 km  

  • West Mount Phase 1 – overlay 0.6 km 

  • An additional $4.8 million for improvements to Resources Road to the Nauticol Plant for a total project cost of $8.27 million, which includes $1.7 million in provincial STIP grant funding  

  • $3.78 million for Range Road 85 from Township Road 710 north to Highway 43 – grade, base, and paving 6.4 km 

  • $2 million for spot construction projects  

  • $989,559 for road construction projects in the Hamlet of Hythe – 0.57 km 

  • $785,000 for the bridge replacement and rehabilitation program, including the Wapiti Ski Trail Bridge replacement 

In addition to road construction, the capital budget includes:  

  • $3.8 million for the land acquisition and design for the proposed RCMP Rural Detachment in Clairmont 

  • $1.9 million for the replacement of vehicles and equipment 

  • $749,350 for new high-resolution air photos of the region and detailed ground surface imaging across the County, supporting municipal services as well as business use 

  • $570,726 for sewage line repairs in the Hamlet of Hythe  

  • $780,000 for the replacement of the Bezanson Lift Station 

  • $358,052 to upgrade aging IT equipment including network servers 

  • $250,000 to replace a live fire training facility 

  • $60,000 to upgrade lighting to LED at the Crosslink County Sportsplex 

  • $60,000 to replace vehicle extraction tools for emergency response 

  • $50,392 for emergency services equipment including thermal imaging cameras 

  • $37,000 for benches, picnic tables and other infrastructure along the Clairmont Parkway trail  

  • $29,000 for Regional Fire Service equipment at the Hythe Fire Station 

  • $25,000 to convert space at the Crosslink County Sportsplex to a multi-purpose meeting room 

  • $25,000 for a second base station for spot construction 

  • $20,000 for a welcome sign in the Hamlet of Hythe 

  • $20,000 for pre-engineering and design work for a trail connecting Township Road 704A to the new paved trail underneath Highway 40 

  • $10,000 for Hommy Park tribute monument 

  • $10,000 for a new retention tank and water tank filters at the Hythe Water Treatment plant 

Operating Budget  

The operating budget proposed for 2022 includes: 

  • $4.3 million for Recreation and Culture Grants 

  • $1.3 million to the City of Grande Prairie for the tax sharing agreement (share of municipal tax revenue – 20 per cent from the co-generational facility and 10 per cent on any new commercial/industrial development in areas serviced by Aquatera) 

  • $587,000 of operating funds to the Grande Prairie & District Agricultural Society (Evergreen Park) to weather the COVID-19 pandemic  

  • $536,723 for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Grants 

  • $533,758 in grants to libraries 

  • $315,000 for additional signage along Township and Range Roads 

  • $306,000 to contract professional engineering services to support Planning and Development Services 

  • $232,842 for sewer line jetting and camera work in the hamlets of Bezanson, La Glace, Hythe, Teepee Creek, and Valhalla 

  • $150,000 for the development of a Drainage Master Plan 

  • $143,107 for the County’s contribution of up to 50 per cent of the costs associated with working with P3 Capital Partners Inc. on the Mountview Health Complex project along with the Town of Beaverlodge 

  • $66,770 for the installation of water meters in the Hamlet of Hythe  

  • $45,666 for Regional Fire Services equipment, including PPE, at the Hythe Fire Station  

  • $40,000 for well registration and licensing in the Hamlet of Hythe  

  • $30,000 for a Road Assessment Study in the Hamlet of Hythe  

  • $25,000 for business retention grant funding for County businesses 

  • Increased operating assistance funding for the Lyons Event Centre in Teepee Creek and Knelsen Centre in Bezanson. Each facility will receive $20,425 annually  

  • $20,000 for enhanced Economic Development programs for business retention including regular meetings, recognition events, and networking opportunities 

  • $20,000 for updates to modernize the County’s visual identity guide  

  • $12,000 for the replacement of sand at Riverview Playground  

  • $12,000 for a Regional Enforcements records management system 

Schedule of Fees and Rates Changes 

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