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Proposed North Battleford tax increase now under six per cent

Increase now proposed to be 5.96, but nothing is final yet as second night of budget deliberations takes place
North Battleford council was again hard at work going through the 2023 budget on Nov. 29.

NORTH BATTLEFORD - Nothing is finalized yet as council in North Battleford continues to deliberate on the 2023 budget.

But there was some small relief reported from Tuesday’s deliberations from a taxpayer perspective. The overall proposed general rate tax increase is now pegged at 5.96 down from the proposed 6.57 per cent, a net reduction of .61 per cent.

Director of Finance Brent Nadon explained to council that they were able to adjust the number due to an increase to investment revenues well as a small increase in costs to the airport contract.

Other proposed budget increases remain unchanged including a proposed UPAR at five per cent, 4.3 per cent for water utility, and sewer at 5.5 per cent. The budget draft had also called for a one per cent increase devoted to capital. 

It’s possible there could be further adjustments before deliberations are finished.

The second night of deliberations proceeded Tuesday night with discussion and presentations from fire and protective services including discussion of policing, as well as the Parks and Recreation departments. 

The indication in the Parks and Recreation budget is that overall revenues are expected to rise by approximately $125,000 but expenses are expected to increase by $210,000. Parks and Recreation Director Cheryl DeNeire did note there were some staffing challenges, with vacancies and turnover reported and some challenges finding people to fill positions. But they do expect to improve the level of service in 2023.

Council is scheduled for one more budget deliberation session this Thursday, Dec. 1, at Don Ross Centre. Scheduled for that night will be Planning and Development and UPAR, as well as third-party grant recommendations. 

Again, the session is open to the public and scheduled to run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that night. If no further deliberations are required, the budget will then go to the regular council meeting on Dec. 12 for possible approval.

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