Budget, priorities planned for 2013

Cranbrook city council is deciding how much money to spend and on what this year.

Cranbrook city council is laying plans for 2013 after approving a set of priorities and giving two readings to the 2013 budget at its Monday, April 8 meeting.

After months of discussion and a public consultation process, city council is on the verge of approving its $54 million budget.

The Five Year Financial Plan includes tax rate increases of 4.21 per cent in 2013, 5.87 per cent in 2014, 4.72 per cent in 2015, 7.38 per cent in 2016, and 4.49 per cent in 2017. This includes a one per cent dedicated road tax.

This year, the property tax increase is equal to $27.65 per $100,000 of assessed value.

On Monday, city council also endorsed a set of priorities for 2013, which city staff will then translate into a 2013 Business Plan.

Those priorities include:

• design specification for an electrical upgrade of the airfield at Canadian Rockies International Airport

• a revamp of the City of Cranbrook website

• completing a new sign bylaw

• completing an update of the city’s Official Community Plan

• a joint management agreement for St. Mary’s River Park between the city and ?aq’am (St. Mary’s Band)

• phase two of wastewater improvements

• construction of three water monitoring wells within the spray irrigation fields

• production of a new suite of promotional products including a comprehensive community profile, a Doing Business in Cranbrook information kit, and a business investment page on the city’s website

• continuing to measure and report carbon emissions while working toward becoming carbon neutral

• completing landscaping at the fire hall

• completing the link between Rotary Way and the North Star Rails to Trails

• replacing playground equipment at McKinnon Park

• completing the bike park at Balment Park

• developing a mobile technology gadget bar at Cranbrook Public Library

• reconstruction and landscaping at Clocktower Square

• landscaping at Cranbrook’s Elizabeth Lake entrance

For more news from Monday’s city council meeting, see The Daily Townsman throughout this week.