Skip to content

Mountain View County council approves 3.2 per cent COLA

Additional community peace officer being hired for Mountain View County

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Council has approved a 3.2 cost of living adjustment (COLA) for staff and council, which will have a $350,000 impact on the 2023 budget. 

The approval came by way of motion approving the 2023 projects budget at the Dec. 14 regularly scheduled council meeting. 

The 2023 COLA increase is included in the 2023 interim budget, which was also passed at last week’s council meeting.

Reeve Angela Aalbers says council took into account at number of factors when considering COLA for 2023, including the need to retain staff in a competitive marketplace.

“We try and benchmark ourselves between 50 and 60 percentile of what others are doing, other municipalities,” Aalbers told the Albertan. “Most municipalities are in between that three and four per cent COLA increase.

“And we do compare it to the consumer price index, which is 6.8 per cent. Council felt that that was a very fair adjustment.”

The county’s COLA increase in 2022 was 2.5 per cent, with the county increasing COLA by 16.1 per cent over the last 10 years.

The 2023 project budget approved last week includes $16.3 million in capital project cost, which represents the majority of the overall project budget of $17.68 million. 

The projects budget covers the county’s four departments: CAO, legislative services, planning and development, and operations. 

The legislative, community and agricultural services project sheets include $145,000 for an additional community peace officer, as well as the purchase of a new police vehicle, for a total cost of $225,000.

Reeve Aalbers says adding the new officer will help increase service levels across the municipality.

“That’s in line with our road safety and all of the other wonderful things that peace officers do for our community,” she said. “We look forward to that service level increase in 2023.”

The project sheet for the new officer states, in part, that, “Any changes to the CPO (community peace officer) complement would require amendments to the current operations of the department which may have other considerations such as historic scheduling practices.”

Overall the 2023 project budget involves operational services spending of $16.4 million, corporate service spending of $513,530, legislative, community and agricultural services spending of $691,716, and planning and development spending of $35,000.

Annual capital road projects come in at $5.8 million, the Twp. Rd. 292 overlay project at $1.2 million, the capital bridge program at $5.3 million, and equipment fleet replacement at $2.5 million.

“The capital projects are funded by reserves, grants, general revenue and other revenue,” said chief administrative officer Jeff Holmes. “The general revenue funding requirements in the 2023 project budget has decreased by $2 million compared to 2022 to offset anticipated cost pressures in the operating budget. 

“Reducing this reliance on general revenues has resulted in an increase in reserve funding for 2023.”

Council has scheduled a special council meeting on Feb. 13, 2023 as part of ongoing 2023 operational budget deliberations.

Reeve Aalbers says the county expects to pass the 2023 operating budget in the spring, when tax rates will be set. 

The complete 2023 projects budget is available for viewing on the county’s website.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks