The unaudited financial statements for the third quarter of 2021 ending Sept. 30 were brought to council at their Dec. 20 regular meeting.
The Operating Budget for 2021 was set at $23,672,843 for total revenues, and as of Sept. 30 — 91.15 per cent of that budget has been realized. This number is down from 2020 by nearly $200,000.
73.53 per cent of the total expense budget of $26,945,378 has been used — culminating in $18,812,541 being used for salaries, general services, materials, and purchases from other governments. This number is only slightly higher than 2020 where they had expended $19,379,373.
Taxes prove to be the largest money maker for the Town of Taber with 48 per cent of the towns total operating revenues coming from taxes. The second largest being sales and user fees culminating in 34 per cent of the total revenue.
The following are selected department reports that can be found on the council agenda at https://www.taber.ca/your-government/agendas-and-minutes/-folder-2319.
This past month the Department of Recreation partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to host the third Annual Winter Festival on Nov. 19, wrapped up fall swim lessons and prepared for winter lesson registration, investigated possible land for a future disc gold course and has currently not found any suitable or desirable land within town limits. Additionally they wrapped up and completed their first annual Veterans Banner Project, held Winterfest sponsored swims and skates, and are planning their Live Leisure Guide event for Jan 5.
The HR Department has monitored staffing requirements and concerns in relation with the ever-evolving COVID-19 issue, updated Health and Safety Bulletin boards in various departments, worked on their budgets, prepared updated policies for harassment, violence and bullying in the workplace and has assisted employees with their concerns and questions.
The Finance Department upgraded multiple systems and firmware, renewed multiple licenses and subscriptions, and has been planned and prepared for the interim audit that took place Dec. 16 and 17.
The Fire Department has completed tank inspections of flammable liquid tank storage systems and noted they went very well, met with the Picture Butte Fire Department to discuss regional training opportunities, has kept the community involved with continued posting on Facebook, and has collaborated with he Taber Police Service, M.D. Fire Services, and the County of Lethbridge to build a ‘I-Net Fire Response Management System.’
Additionally they have had 467 hours of firefighting training, and in the past 12 months have held 5183 hours of online and in-person training.
Renewed lease documents and arranged for signing with lessees, reviewed strategized positions for vacant facility and maintenance positions, reviewed and edited multiple communications and contracts with correspondence from other departments, and has held weekly meetings with Administrative Services staff to receive updates, assign tasks and for general check-ins.
Communications and Projects Coordinator:
Edited the website’s service requests to include options for citizens to suggest infrastructure ideas, fielded various questions from the public as transferred to various communications, uploaded and edited all council, board, committee and commission meetings to the town website for 2022, worked on various design templates for emergency communications preparedness for various scenarios, and assisted the recreation staff with their social media and communications initiatives where requested.
Engineering and Public Works:
Assisted Communities in Bloom with he installation and powering of their Christmas Displays, assisted with the Winter Fest set-up and provided power, finished the geotechnical investigation for the wastewater lagoon solar system, and filled potholes around town.
Planning and Economic Development:
Held discussions with several businesses or investors considering locating to or grown in Taber, continued discussions with an investor that had shortlisted Taber to determine how the Town can be more attractive to businesses in the future, continued work on the Meadows of Taber, and has begun discussions to obtain an ancient bison skeleton that was found near Taber.
Worked on multiple agreements in preparation for negotiations, held various discussions with all directs, held various discussions with management staff, visited local businesses, the museum and the Taber Times, and met with Trail 77.
Kenyon Stronski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times