It's Budget Time
Well it's that time of year again, when Council and Administration hold a series of Budget Meetings. The Town is facing many challenges, including infrastructure in need of upgrades and replacements. In 2014 council approved the completion of an infrastructure management study on Town owned infrastructure, specifically water and sewer pipes in the ground, pavement, sidewalks and storm management. Hanna, like many Municipalities in Canada, is experiencing a higher number of failures in infrastructure such as pipes bursting or collapsing, valves rusted and unable to open or close and sidewalks with trip hazards. The infrastructure management study concluded that as a municipality there is a need to start being more proactive in replacing and maintaining our infrastructure. The Engineering Firm, as a result of the study, is recommending that the Town budget upwards of one million dollars per year on maintenance and repair of infrastructure. This would be a substantial increase to the budget, and these are not the kind of expenditures that get politicians re-elected when we go to the polls, although it is our due diligence to properly maintain our capital assets. Hanna’s Elected Officials have been diligent in making our Provincial and Federal Governments aware of these challenges, yet the funding provided through the grants is significantly less than what is required to keep pace with our increasing needs. This leaves the burden on us, the taxpayers of Hanna. I'm not trying to paint a doom and gloom picture, but I think that it's very important that as residents, we all understand where a large portion of our tax dollars are being spent. Hanna is, according to the engineers who completed our study, not in a desperate situation, but warned that we can spend now or a substantial amount later.
As Council, we work on three year budget projections, so we will be looking very closely at what the next three years of infrastructure repairs and maintenance will look like. It is never Council's desire to raise taxes, and it will be our goal through the budget process to keep taxes at a minimum, but I will not promise that our tax rate will not change.
Congratulations to Dean Viste
On a positive note. I'd like to congratulate Mr. Dean Viste on winning one of four 2014 Recreation Volunteer Recognition Awards.
Hanna Business Awards
I would also like to thank the Hanna and District Chamber of Commerce for hosting the 1st Annual business awards banquet. You should be very proud as it was an excellent evening.
I would like to remind everybody as we head into the Christmas party season, to drink responsibly and please don't drink and drive.
Moving into 2015 I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best in 2015.
Chris Warwick, Mayor