The results of the City's 2024 budget survey are in. The results published in the City Administration's 2024 proposed budget break down participant feedback through how participants engaged.
At the Airdrie Home and Lifestyle show, 160 residents participated in a poll asking them to consider the trade-off between desired levels of service and the costs of those services. 1,026 participants submitted input through the online survey. The majority of those who participated wanted to see an increase in user fees but equalling the same services.
The online budget survey showed an emerging picture of what residents thought about priorities and how those may impact taxes, specifically tax increases.
"From the comments participants provided, an emerging theme included a desire to seek additional sources of funding to alleviate pressures on property tax rates. Suggestions included seeking Provincial support for areas such as Fire and Emergency Management (also seen as supporting health-related services), and more developer support for areas such as Community Growth services," The 2024 budget document stated.
The online survey also sought to see what residents thought of tax changes by service area. Over 70 per cent of those surveyed supported an increase in taxes when it came to Fire and Emergency Management, Roads Maintenance, Parks Services, RCMP and Municipal Enforcement.
The top three priorities for survey participants included the new recreation centre in the Southwest quadrant of the city, a CP Rail underpass on Yankee Valley Boulevard, as well as a new water line from Calgary. The last priority was the Artificial turf field.
According to the city administration's proposed budget, the recommendation is for an operating budget of $207,372,833 and a capital budget of $116,518,910.
"To maintain existing service levels, manage fiscal affordability and sustainability and advance Council Focus Areas and Capital Projects, an additional $7.3MM is required to balance the budget."
The first of several Council Budget Committees (CBC) are already underway. On Tuesday, the agenda stated that the discussions would be surrounding the overall budget, subsidiary budgets, and personnel costs, along with presentations made by each Director, starting with the Community Growth and Protective Services Directorate. Thursday's deliberations will continue throughout the day, with the CBC formulating a recommended operating and capital budget for the Council.
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