It looks like Fort residents will be getting a break on taxes this year, thanks to huge savings clipped from the budget.
City council has trimmed $760,000 after they sent administration back to find further efficiencies.
"Council's got the message," said councillor Ed Sperling. "Things are tightening up, we've heard from the province that things are going to change, tighten your seat belt and that's at every level."
The cut is good news for residents and businesses, with preliminary taxes down by 0.25 per cent. For a residential property assessed at $400,000, they'd see a $5 savings, while a $1-million property would see $22 savings on their tax bill.
"We were able to do some work initially in the budget about cutting some things and getting our tax rate down but we left our administration with a to do list," explained Sperling. "They dug in and we ended up with a total reduction in operating expenses this year to somewhere around $1.3-million."
Sperling credits the third quarter update that gave administration a better look at what's going on with the city's money.
He reassured residents there shouldn't be any impact on their service levels in the city.
The cuts include:
- $250,000 from snow removal
- $200,000 from the traffic safety program
- $150,000 from electricity
- $100,000 from natural gas
- $23,000 from advertising
- $20,000 from contracted services and contingency funds
- $17,000 from the telephone system
Mayor Gale Katchur was the lone vote against the trim, saying it could affect them in the future and lead to large jumps in rates in the 2019 budget.
Council will give final approval in the 2018 budget on December 12.