Ashcroft plans $3.9 M budget

Ashcroft Council budgets for a two per cent increase in taxes.

Ashcroft Council is asking for another two per cent from residents this year as it  considers its 2012 budget. But some councillors are wondering if that’s going to be enough.

Council gave first readings to its 2012 budget at its Apr. 23 meeting. The budget contemplates collecting just over $1 million in property taxes from residents – or 26 per cent of the Village’s revenues. This would raise an additional $15,739 in taxes.

The budget anticipates half a million dollars in grants,  and about the same in user fees.

Councillor Jackie Tegart remarked that Council is limited in the ways that it can fund its budget and it needed to look for better ways. She noted that “Everyone’s looking for money from our taxpayers,” referring to requisisions from TNRD, school board, hospital, policing and others.

Mayor Andy Anderson noted that one of the water pumps had to be pulled out of the river this year and sent out for general maintenance. While it was gone, the second pump failed.

“It’s a good thing it wasn’t sprinkler season,” he said.

The town used to have a spare pump, he said, but they don’t now. The pumps cost $22,000. “A two per cent increase won’t pay for that,” he said.

“I wanted to keep it to one per cent,” said Coun. Alice Durksen, “but I also think we should have a backup pump.”

Coun. Helen Kormendy said she could accept the two per cent hike as long as it was all going to be spent on infrastructure. “I think the infrastructure needs it,” she said.