$60 tax hike coming to Lacombe

City of Lacombe residents will pay another $60 on average in municipal taxes next year. Council passed its $27.3-million operating budget on Monday night, which is up 2.8 per cent from 2012.

City of Lacombe residents will pay another $60 on average in municipal taxes next year.

Council passed its $27.3-million operating budget on Monday night, which is up 2.8 per cent from 2012.

The typical homeowner whose property was assessed at $273,600 will see their municipal tax bill increase to $1,977 from $1,917 annually, or just over three per cent.

That does not include the school tax portion of bills, which is set by the province and won’t be known until the spring.

Residents can also expect to see their utility bills go up about 3.7 per cent, which would see a typical monthly bill go to $109.83 from $105.88.

Michael Minchin, the town’s corporate services director, said the challenge was to maintain services without increasing the budget more than three per cent.

“With the number of new homes we’ve seen over the last number of years, it has placed real pressure on our ability to maintain services,” he said.

The city was able to meet that goal and even undertake new initiatives such as introducing curbside recycling this year, said Minchin.

Council also passed a capital budget of $12.4 million, of which $7.5 million is covered by grants.

Some of the biggest debate swirled around upgrades to the town’s arena parking lot and spray park.

Originally pegged at $900,000, council opted to phase in developments to trim the price tag back to $400,000 next year.

Among capital projects planned are:

• $3.2 million to Hwy 2A north leg upgrades

• $2.5 million for industrial park development

• $1.9 million for road and street projects

• $1.5 million for storm water and sewer work

• $585,000 for repaving Woodland Drive

• $500,000 for a composter

• $475,000 for various park projects

• $450,000 to replace city vehicles

• $400,000 for arena parking lot and spray park landscaping redevelopment

• $350,000 for a new fire pumper

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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