Council approved the 2024 Operating and Five Year Capital Plan on December 11, 2023. The budget book will be updated soon and will be available here and at the Town Hall. A copy of the proposed budget is available here: 2024 Proposed Operating and Capital Budget
The 2024 budget continues to build on the ongoing work of staff and Council to provide a high quality explanation of the Town’s finances, expectations and achievements to the public. Incorporating feedback from our 2023 GFOA budget submission, the current budget book includes informational and formatting improvements from prior years.
Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) presented a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to Town of Three Hills, Alberta, for its Annual Budget for the fiscal year beginning January 01, 2023. In order to receive this award, a governmental unit must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as a financial plan, as an operations guide, and as a communications device.
This award is valid for a period of one year only. We believe our current budget continues to conform to program requirements, and we are submitting it to GFOA to determine its eligibility for another award.
Operating Budget Highlights
The approved 2024 budget totals $11,610,060 and primarily focuses on providing services at the level expected by Council and public while planning for the future by increasing funding for capital projects. While maintaining existing services Council also approved the following initiatives for 2024 and beyond:
• additional funds for local grants to organizations ($5,000)
• a water bill relief program for unexpected high water consumption ($6,900)
• factoring potential waste and recycle contract cost increases in the 2024 budget ($40,450)
• funding towards the Chamber of Commerce water tower lighting project ($40,000)
• program for mattress and box spring recycling at the landfill ($8,020)
• zamboni room flooring upgrades at the Centennial Arena ($15,000)
• increased funding for general capital projects ($132,000)
• increased funding for water and sewer capital projects ($90,000).
The addition of $222,000 in capital project funding is vital to assist in the ongoing repair and replacement of aging Town infrastructure and is more than a 17% increase than our 2023 capital project funding via the operating budget.
To balance the budget Council approved the following revenue changes:
• taxation revenue increases of $124,120 or 3.49% - for a house assessed at our median value of $239,000 this would result in an annual tax bill increase of $82 (from $2,337 to $2,419) or $6.80 per month on Town taxes
• water and sewer revenue increases of $49,410 or 2.31% - this projects to be a utility bill increase (assuming 14 cubic meters of consumption) of $2.96 per month
• revenues for Town facilities or services including the campground, arena, pool and landfill ranging from 5% to 10%
Curbside garbage and recycling rates did not change.
From a consolidated – tax and utility – bill perspective, this equates to a $9.76 monthly increase on a typical residential property in Three Hills, or a consolidated annual increase projected to be in the 2.79% range.
Capital Budget Highlights
The capital budget is a long-term, multi-year plan that is updated and refined on an annual basis. This plan reflects the need to invest in our infrastructure as the Town grows and as assets age. The need to prepare long-term infrastructure renewal plans while at the same time plan for growth which is supported by prudent financial planning, is a major undertaking.
The Town of Three Hills faces the challenge of meeting the needs of its residents for public services and facilities with increasing costs and relatively fixed revenues. To be able to effectively set project priorities, the town prepares a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP.)
The 2024 capital program includes 11 projects totaling $940,500. Of this amount, $323,000 is funded through town-controlled funds and $617,500 from other external sources.
As presented, the 2024 Capital Budget can be accomplished without impacting existing tax rates.
In addition to these projects, there are 6 projects that were previously approved in 2022 and 2023 that should also be completed in 2024.
Any questions on the budget can be directed to any elected official or:
Director of Finance
Chief Administrative Officer