Wednesday, April 7, 2010

GGS Committee Agenda for April 7th, 2010

The GGS committee meets today at 10am. The agenda looks to be fairly light - check it out below, with notes from me in italics.

General Government Services Agenda April 7, 2010

1. 2010 Orthophoto Project
K. McGriskin, GIS Manager
This is a project to update the aerial photos we have of the city. The photos are used by various city departments in their operations through the year. We partner with the County of GP on this to do the whole area at once and since the county area is larger than the city thy actually cover the majority of the cost but we manage the project. The total cost is $188,050 and the city's portion of that is $47,140.

2. 2010 Fiscal Plan
K. Anderson, Corporate Services Director
Given how the economy has been a little... unsettled, over the last while Council asked Ken to give us an update on how things were looking for the year and how administration was handling any challenges that might pop up. Report highlights:
• the short fall in MSI funding (which had even more cut from it than we expected -$653,000)
• loss of revenue when a long standing grant from the province disappeared in their latest budget (-$592,000)
• lowered revenue projections from development services due to slower than expected construction activity (-$500,000)
• lowered revenue projections from the Crystal Centre (-$300,000)
• loss of revenue when the province removed ambulance dispatch from our 911 call centre (-$300,000)
• better than expected revenue at the Leisure Centre & Coca-Cola Centre (+$100,000)
• savings by delaying borrowing for construction projects (+$200,000)
• higher than expected tax penalty revenue, also probably due to the economy (+$200,000)
• increased revenue due to climbing interest rates (+$250,000)
• savings due to wages not increasing as fast as predicted (+$942,000)

Many of the items above offset with the exception of the $653,000 loss from the further reduction (last year's reduction caused an increase in taxes) in MSI funding, to handle that admin is suggesting we use money from the Facility Depreciation reserve. I'm hoping that we'll be able to pay that reserve back because the province has said that we would eventually get all the MSI money, just over a longer period. So, if it's replaced down the road hopefully we can just pay ourselves back so that reserve is available for it's intended use.

All in all, those things balance out so that the budget increase will remain at the 2.8% council approved in the fall. I think it goes to show how big a task municipal budgeting is.

3. 2010 Assessment Report for Mill Rate Application
D. Swant, Assessment/Tax Manager
I've spoken about mill rates before. Interesting note in the report; the revenue producing assessment in the city is just over $7 billion. That means that if you added up the value of all the properties in the city it would be worth $7 billion.

4. Bylaw C-1247, 2010 Property Tax
D. Sauve, Financial Analyst
This is the bylaw that actually puts the tax rate in place and formalizes the 2.8% budget increase. Of note, due to a reduction in the education portion of the property tax we can collect an additional $578,000 which will go to reduce the borowing needed for the multiplex construction.

All told, An average house in GP (with an assessed value of $263,000) will see their tax bill increase by $80.00 this year.

5. Senior’s Property Tax Rebate
D. Swant, Assessment/Tax Manager
This rebate gives seniors a rebate of $100 on their property taxes. The administration of the program is done through the Alberta Seniors Benefit Program.

6. Cancellation of Regularly Scheduled Meetings
A. Cerny, Deputy Legislative Services Manager
Much of council will be away for the FCM conference so the May 31 Council meeting and the June 1st Public Works meetings will have to be cancelled. (I'll be staying in GP this year)

7.Bill 9, Local Authorities Election Statutes Amendment Act, 2010
A. Cerny, Deputy Legislative Services Manager

8. Correspondence
8.1. Alberta Municipal Affairs, re: Responses to Bill 9, formerly Bill 203, Local Authorities Election Amendment Act, 2009

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