Councillor Gordon Harris's budget addition will help bring clarity to the City of Fort Saskatchewan's service levels.
With an extra $125,000 tacked on to the 2018 operating budget at Tuesday night's (December 12) council meeting, Harris hopes it will allow comprehensive service reviews every year.
"It can confirm if we are providing those services and service levels in an effective way and if we aren't, if there are opportunities for improvement, which I know there will be, we can find those and pursue those and that will see cost reductions in future budgets," explained Harris
Councillor Ed Sperling raised the point of whether a third party would be hired to conduct the reviews, saying it would be pointless to have an internal review. Harris agreed, noting that the $125,000 is a baseline estimate for how much it would cost to hire a third party. Harris added that the number could fluctuate, depending on the size and depth of the review.
"It's what I campaigned on, I have experience doing this in many other municipalities and I know it can be done," said Harris. "I am a concerned and interested resident who is in a position now to help bring some clarity to how the city delivers services and spends money."
Amid spending cuts from council, Harris stated that although this adds money to the budget, in the long run the reviews will help the city save even more money while delivering better quality services to residents.
The annual $125,000 placeholder amount for the reviews will be taken from the City Manager's budget.
It increased the overall budget to $75,952,471.