Chapter 2: Budget 2018 – Council looks to maintain services, keep up with inflation Print Article Font Size
cover-page.jpgEvery year by law, local governments must prepare a Five-year Financial Plan which outlines revenues and expenses for the current year and projections for the next 4 successive years. This year, Council is proposing a 5% increase (down from 6.5% last year) to the budget for 2018.

“Our budgets must start to meaningfully address the significant and nation-wide issue of infrastructure deficit, while still maintaining the services and quality of life our citizens, visitors, and the economy expect,” says Mayor Ron Oszust.

“No more can we simply keep up with inflation – we have responsibilities to our local society that far outweigh the ‘business as usual’ approach.”

The budget increase will also allow the Town to maintain our existing levels of services rather than cutting them while keeping up with the increasing costs of energy, labour, materials and general inflation (Consumer Price Index). Even more importantly, it also begins a new approach to reserve funding, in anticipation of immediate and future infrastructure needs.

Some of the services we provide for you include (but are not limited to) water provision wastewater collection, curbside waste/recycling collection, maintenance and enhancement of streets, sidewalks, parking lots and dikes, recreation service programming and partnerships, emergency services for natural disasters, a full service fire department, planning and development services, bylaw enforcement, and a host of other partnerships and special initiatives that benefit our community.

In most cases, we keep only about half of the money we collect in property taxes each year to provide these services for you.  The rest goes to other authorities we collect on behalf of, such as the school district, policing, regional district, and financing authorities. There are also several other revenue sources for us that we depend upon, including government grants and transfers, sale of services, developer contributions, and earnings on our own investments.

The actual Financial Plan Bylaw being considered by Council is many, many pages.

“That’s why we have developed a Budget Book to make it a little simpler,” says Town of Golden CAO, Jon Wilsgard. “The document can be found on our website at, on Facebook, in hard copy at Town Hall, and will be available at the upcoming open house. It provides the ‘big picture’ and shows you where we’ve been over the last two years and where Town Council intends to head over the next five.”

The proposed 2018-2022 Five-year Financial Plan passed first reading on December 19th, 2017. A consultation period occurs now in which public input is encouraged and welcomed.

Have your say and ask us questions about this proposed budget by attending our Budget Open House on January 16th, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Seniors Centre. Snacks and refreshments will be provided, as well as a look at other departmental initiatives for the year. You can also come to one of our upcoming Council/ meetings on January 9th at 7:00 p.m. or January 23rd at 1:15 p.m., both in Council Chambers at Town Hall.