Council Approves 2020 Budget, Tax Rates and Five-Year Financial Plan
At the Regular Meeting of Council held on May 11, 2020, City of Fernie Council approved the 2020 budget, 2020 tax rates, and Five-Year Financial Plan.
The 2020 budget is built around a zero-percent tax increase in recognition of the significant challenges our residents and businesses are facing this year.
“When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we quickly directed staff to rethink the proposed 2020 budget and sharpen their pencils to find savings to offer some relief to residents,” explained Mayor Ange Qualizza. “I want to thank staff for being nimble and delivering a budget that maintains a high level of service and funds key projects in 2020.”
These key projects include a major infrastructure replacement program in the Ghostrider Commercial area, completing the provincially required Housing Needs Report, updated master plans for parks and recreation, arts and culture, and facilities and developing the terms of reference for a Climate Action Plan.
The focus of major projects that are funded in the 2020 budget was to deliver on Council’s Strategic Objectives, protect the safety of citizens, safeguard critical infrastructure and prepare for future investment.
Delivering a zero-percent tax increase in 2020 requires a three-month closure of all indoor recreation facilities as well as some deferrals and reductions in planned capital spending and corresponding reductions in transfers to some reserves.
Feedback gathered through the public consultation on the budget indicates most respondents were generally supportive of the approach that the City was taking with the 2020 budget.
Liz Rhodes, Communications Coordinator