The District of Sparwood gave the community a chance to see the highlights of the 2013 Financial Plan at a council meeting on Monday, March 18.
Director of Finance Barbara Nunes presented an overview of the current year’s budget to mayor and council, as well as residents in attendance, to allow for feedback and input before it is adopted.
Council’s 2013 strategic objectives are the same as the previous year; to enhance community engagement, increase the number of businesses, and attract more residents.
“An enhanced community results in a positive atmosphere throughout the District that makes businesses and people want to be here,” explained Nunes. “More businesses of all types means more jobs for residents and more potential residents. And more residents means at some point there is going to be critical mass to support more small retail outlets.”
She added, “With the shift schedule at the mines and being close to Alberta, we have quite the handicap for retail businesses.”
There are a number of large capital projects budgeted for 2013, including $50,000 for a fire department storage garage, $800,000 for the completion and paving of Michel Creek Road, as well as servicing of the Highway 3, Highway 43, and Aspen intersections for development access.
The District is investing a significant amount of funding into its recreation centre, with $150,000 for asbestos abatement, $628,000 for the Leisure Centre energy retrofit, and $857,000 going towards the Curling Rink and Arena energy retrofit. Nunes commented, “After that is over and done with I’m hoping that our carbon consumption will be significantly reduced.”
Other major projects in the works for this year are an update of the Official Community Plan and the development of a program to encourage reconstruction and renovations in the downtown core.
The full 2013 Financial Plan Consultation report can be viewed on the District’s website at www.sparwood.ca.