Special Budget Council Meeting November 7, 2019
Every year, we double up on meetings to deal with decisions regarding the budget. This year, the budget schedule/deadlines are as follows:
Thursday, November 7 starting at 3pm - Divisional presentations & opportunity for Council to ask questions about proposed business cases and costs of service levels.
Thursday, November 14 starting at 3pm - Presentations & questions continued.
Friday, November 15 - Deadline for Council to give notice of motion for postponed motions. These are the motions to change the budget prepared by administration.
Thursday, November 21 - Deliberation of postponed motions. My calendar says this is in-camera, but I’m not sure what that means since budget decisions are public. I’ll post more information when our detailed agenda is released in a couple of weeks.
Tuesday, November 26 - Continued deliberation of postponed motions.
Thursday, November 27 - Continued deliberation of postponed motions if required.
Budget Information Requests (BIRs)
BIRs are used by Council to find out more information about the costs of services and projects. These help us formulate our budget motions and questions/answers are available on the public website so all residents can get an idea of what kinds of information we use in our decision-making.
Some of the questions/answers include:
What would be the cost to extend the free transit passes for youth to the end of 2020? Answer: $14,000
What would be the cost to waive fees for local (not commuter) transit passes for all persons who qualify for the Community and Protective Services Subsidy Program for 2020? Answer: $4,872
What would be the impacts if we delayed Firehall station #4 by one year? Two years? If we delay the firehall, what would be the impact of delaying some/all of the associated staffing requirements? Answer: TBD
When is our next municipal census planned? How often are we legally required to do a census and what is our current schedule? What does a municipal census cost? How often is a federal census conducted? Answer: TBD
What is our total advertising budget? Is it allocated between departments or all held in Strategic Services? What mediums do we use? What are we required by the MGA to advertise? Do we use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter Ads? Answer: TBD
I expect postponed motions will add up starting next week. They are all available to view on the public website. So far, this is it:
That the Municipal Census be postponed until 2023.
That fees for local (not commuter) passes for all persons who qualify for the Community and Protective Services "All-Aboard" Subsidy Program are waived. (This includes AISH recipients who use local public transit.)
That the Free Local Transit for Youth program is extended to December 31, 2020.
This is a brief and incomplete overview of our meetings, with my personal comments sprinkled in - In no way are my opinions representative of the official direction of council or the City of St. Albert. Please let me know of any typos or errors. As always, I also encourage everyone who is able to tune in the the live-stream of the meeting (3pm here) or attend in-person (3rd floor of St. Albert Place, hang a right getting out of the elevator). Full agenda packages can be found on the stalbert.ca website.