Strathcona County has made a few adjustments to prioritize capital spending in 2022.
Some projects will be moving ahead under a limited scope, while others will be waiting for municipal dollars after council met on May 17 to adjust its capital spending plan.
The county approved a 2.18 per cent tax increase for 2022, which they say will allow them to maintain programs and service levels while tacking operational and inflationary pressures.
“There’s a limited amount of resources that we can spend each year,” said Strathcona County mayor Rod Frank.
“We have to make decisions in the here and now to deal with current needs, and we also have to deal with future needs; and all at the same time, we have to ensure that we have financial sustainability and that our taxes are fair.”
Some major projects moving forward this year include the Edmonton-Strathcona County footbridge and the hiring of 12 new firefighter/paramedics, which have been desperately needed in the county.
Other projects, such as Centre in the Park, the indoor fieldhouse, and The Pointe, will move forward this year, albeit under a more limited scope. Affordable housing was also on the list of priorities, with non-profits looking to repurpose the former Cloverbar Lodge.
“The Cloverbar Lodge has been on the books for a number of years. It’s a site that’s ready to go in the sense that it’s there; there’s currently a building on [the land].”
Some projects that are moving in an “altered direction” this year include the Senior’s Hub, the Ardrossan south water transmission main, Ardrossan south water transmission main, Bremner reservoir, and Bremner interchange North of Yellowhead project.
Community broadband was also left off the priority list, though Frank noted it’d open the county up to other grant programs currently being offered through different levels of government. Close to $1-billion is being invested into Alberta’s high-speed internet system through provincial, federal, and private contributions.