The city begins the first discussions on the 2023 budget

The Town of Strathmore officially opened discussions regarding the 2023 budget process, which was presented at a special meeting of council on June 22.

The budget timelines for 2023 were originally presented to council at the June 8 Committee of the Whole meeting and were later adopted as part of council’s agenda the following week.

Brenda Hewko, acting as a contractor supporting the City’s finance team, presented a workshop to council at the special meeting to discuss the process of how city budgeting works and the types of considerations that go into it. preparation of the city budget.

According to the Municipal Government Act (LMG), the City must plan a balanced budget and cannot plan to be in deficit.

The Town of Strathmore primarily operates on four main financial policies, as outlined by Hewko. These include the overall budget, cash and investment management, operating and capital reserves, and the City’s long-term financial plan.

“The purpose of fiscal policy is to make sure that we align and fund … the various activities, expenditures (and) whatever we seek to do to be in the budget,” Hewko said. “The cash and investment management policy aims for purchasing power, liquidity and maximizing the returns that investments would earn and complying with the MGA.”

Hewko explained that the operating and capital reserve policy focuses on the city’s long-term financial stability and flexibility.

The Long Range Financial Plan is treated differently in the process than other City policies, but must be approved by Council before being implemented by the City’s Finance Department and is therefore introduced in the same way. way than other financial policies.

City finance considerations in the budget also include city staff, local debt, borrowing, intergenerational equity, and financial transaction records.

Regarding the city’s growth cycle, Hewko referred to the municipal development plan, which estimates how the city is going to grow from a literal perspective, and where such developments are likely to occur.

“When we look at the growth cycle, you start with the municipal development plan, which is what do we think the city is going to do over the next 20, 25, or 30 years,” Hewko said, who explained that these developments tend to be geared more towards long-term financial gain for the city based on the area structure plans and what will be physically built to develop the city.

In the short term, as properties such as residences are built, there are one-time payments from the sale of the property, followed by the onset of reliable and regular income based on property taxes and utilities.

Summarizing the financial plan process, the proposed timeline presented by Hewko outlines various stages that will progress through December, when final decisions on the budget plan will be made.

The infographic and presentation presented to the Board on June 22 are available for public reference.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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