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Budget Public Consultation September, 2018

WHAT WE HEARD: A REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY Prepared by the Public Engagement Budget Working Group: Monica Leatherdale, Sheena Linderman, Kelly Lloyd, Jennifer Lutz


Contents Introduction.................................................................................................................................................. 2 2018 Financial Highlights .......................................................................................................................... 2 Council and Administration ....................................................................................................................... 3 Administration ............................................................................................................................................. 3 Operations ................................................................................................................................................... 4 Public Safety ............................................................................................................................................... 5 Parks and Trails.......................................................................................................................................... 7 Planning and Development....................................................................................................................... 7 Recreation ................................................................................................................................................... 9 Economic Development .......................................................................................................................... 10 Community Development ........................................................................................................................ 11 Data Comparisons ................................................................................................................................... 12 Learnings from the Budget Consultation .............................................................................................. 13 Next Steps ................................................................................................................................................. 13 Thank You ................................................................................................................................................. 13

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THIS AFFECTS YOU: Budget Public Consultation - September 2018

Introduction The Town of Olds strives to engage citizens when planning the future of our community. To help us understand spending priorities on various municipal services, we asked the community for feedback. An online tool asked citizens to balance the budget based on current funding levels and place how they want tax dollars distributed within specified categories. The feedback gathered from this consultation will help council and administration make more informed decisions. Managing public funds is a critical part of our service to the community and we sincerely appreciate and thank you for participating!

2018 Financial Highlights The Town of Olds 2018 operating budget is approximately 28 million dollars which is primarily funded through municipal taxes, users fees and grants. Municipal taxes make up approximately $13.3 million of the total operating budget which is used to deliver efficient and affordable services to ratepayers. The 2018 capital budget is approximately $15 million and is used to renew and invest in core infrastructure. The Town of Olds is required by provincial legislation to bill and collect School and Seniors Housing requisition and has no jurisdiction or control over school or senior housing budgets or operations. Currently, 32% of property taxes are remitted to the provincial government, the remaining 68% is used by the Town of Olds to support local municipal services. Several items you may use or see in our community are not funded through tax dollars. Some examples include Water, Sanitary Sewer Services and Solid Waste Collection services including Curbside Rollout Services which are fully funded through utility rates. Cultural Programs which are funded from Natural Gas Franchise fees include financial support for the Evergreen Centre, Olds Museum and Archives, Olds Municipal Library and other cultural initiatives. Many of the public art features within our community are funded with fees collected by developers, private donations or grants. User fees generate revenue which help offset operating costs of activities or facilities used by individuals in the community. Examples of user fees include arena ice rentals, Aquatic Centre rates, building permit and development fees, and cemetery rates.

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2018 Budget - Distribution of Current Funding Recreational Facilities

18.89%

Public Safety

19.84%

Planning and Development

5.50%

Parks and Trails

11.81%

Operations

18.92%

Economic Development

4.84%

Council Community Development

4.16% 1.74%

Administration 0.00%

14.31%

5.00%

10.00%

15.00%

20.00%

25.00%

Council and Administration Council includes the Mayor and six Town Councillors who set the overall direction of the municipality through their role as policy makers. Policies and bylaws set by Council are the guidelines that administration follows to run the municipality. Council meetings are open to the public and citizens are encouraged to attend gain a better understanding of service levels and what is involved to achieve them.

Administration The budget for administration includes the Office of the Chief Administration Officer (CAO), Finance, Human Resources, and Communications. The role of Administration is to support Council as well as oversee and implement the strategic direction from our elected officials. It is common for public sector salaries and compensation to be an area of public scrutiny. The Town of Olds provides fair and competitive salaries to employees while maintaining our responsibility as a steward of public dollars. The Town considers both internal and external factors when determining pay and does not intend to lead the market and instead strives for pay that is responsive to current market conditions, with a focus on the public sector. The Town operates in a non-unionized environment. The staff positions within the Town of Olds are critical to achieve the level of service that is determined by council.

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2018 Town of Olds Staffing Levels: Full time staff include Operations, Parks, Finance, Office of the CAO, Community Services, Facility Staff as well as 3 full time staff members with Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OICRD). Other full time positions include, RCMP detachment clerks and Municipal Enforcement Officers. Casual staff include staff with Olds Aquatic Centre, Sportsplex and Sunshine Bus Drivers. The summer staff employment program accounts for all seasonal staff. The Fire Chief and Fire Administrative support are included in the fulltime staff compliment. Olds Fire department currently has 46 Volunteer Firefighters.

Operations The primary function of Operational Services is to provide the required maintenance of all municipal infrastructure including roads, snow removal, sidewalks, lanes, parking lots, utilities, and fleet equipment. The Town works to ensure our infrastructure assets are maintained with excellence. The Operations department collaborates with Financial Services to develop the Town of Olds Asset Management program. Asset Management is about the physical assets and the services they provide to the community. The Town of Olds assets are extensive and include, but are not limited to facilities, roads, sidewalks, street lighting and signage, water and sanitary sewer mains, trails, parks, and equipment. Facilities include the Sportsplex, Aquatic Centre, Library, Museum, Fire Hall, Administration Office, and Operations Centre. Although water, wastewater, and solid waste collection services (which includes curbside rollout services) are fully funded through utility rates and not taxes, respondents may not differentiate this and had expressed concerns regarding service levels and rates where written feedback was requested. Providing comparative data on tax rates, water, sanitary sewage service, and waste disposal may help to address some of the concerns shared by respondents. 80% of respondents indicated funding levels to Operations should remain the same or increase.

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2018 Budget for Operations is $1,712,610

Public Safety Public Safety and Enforcement includes the Town of Olds Fire Department, RCMP, and Municipal Enforcement. They protect, preserve, and restore public safety through programs and services. They provide education, compliance assurance, and emergency and disaster response systems. The Town of Olds, with law enforcement and emergency service partners, focus on education, prevention, and emergency preparedness, through training and community outreach to ensure we have a safe community. The Town of Olds supports community groups such as Citizens on Patrol, a group of dedicated community and business volunteers working to protect the community and to deter crime by providing an extra set of eyes and ears for local law enforcement. Olds Fire department is co-funded with Mountain View County providing fire protection for Olds and the surrounding area. They work closely with the RCMP, Olds Search and Rescue, and Alberta Health Services to provide superior emergency response for the residents of Olds. The Olds Fire Department consists of two staff members and approximately 46 volunteer firefighters.

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The Olds RCMP detachment is responsible for the preservation of public peace, prevention of crime, detection and apprehension of law offenders, protection of the rights of citizens and property, as well as, enforcement of Federal and Provincial laws. The Town of Olds Community Peace Officer and Bylaw Enforcement work closely with the RCMP. Their focus is to gain voluntary compliance of Bylaws by providing public education and outreach in the community. Resorting to enforcement actions such as issuing tickets is a last resort but can be necessary when the non-compliant behaviour is willful, repetitive, or threatens public health, safety, or the environment. 80% of respondents indicated funding levels to Public Safety should remain the same or increase. This is a slight upward trend from 2017 where 78% of respondents indicated they were comfortable with current spending levels.

2018 Budget for Public Safety is 1,795,500

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Parks and Trails The Town of Olds features over 300 acres of green space including over 18 kilometres of trails. There are numerous parks and playgrounds including, Disc Golf, Splash Park, Skateboard Park, and Off-leash Dog Park. The Town also manages and maintains the cemetery, a peaceful and beautiful area to reflect and cherish memories of loved ones. Town of Olds is very proud to create and maintain spaces that serve residents and visitors as well as beautify our community.

59% of respondents indicated funding levels to Parks and Trails should remain the same or increase, 41% indicated funding to Parks and Trails should be decreased. This response is a slight, downward trend compared to 2017 where 69% of respondents indicated they were comfortable with current spending levels.

2018 Budget for Parks and Trails is $1,069,250

Planning and Development Planning and Development is responsible for ensuring growth and development within the Town of Olds occurs in an organized, rational manner while maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Olds. The Town of Olds facilitates land use planning and development to accommodate This Affects You: Budget Engagement, September 2018

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growth to create a welcoming and sustainable community. Planning and Development staff are a resource to the community and provide helpful information for development applications. The department reviews and processes statutory plans, rezoning, subdivisions, development, and building permit applications. The Town ensures compliance with the Land Use Bylaw, the Municipal Development Plan, and Area Structure Plans, and Alberta Safety Codes. This includes building inspections for commercial, residential, and structural improvements to ensure development is in compliance with building codes and standards. Olds saw a 13 million dollar increase in building permits from 2016 to 2017. Steady growth continues as building permits are up over 2 million dollars based on the same time frame as last year.

60% of respondents indicated funding levels to Planning and Development should remain the same or increase, 40% indicated funding to Planning and Development should be decreased. This response is a slight, downward trend compared to 2017 where 73% of respondents indicated they were comfortable with current spending levels.

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2018 Budget for Planning and Development is $497,780

Recreation Recreational opportunities continue to grow in Olds with a wide variety of facilities, including the Olds Sportsplex, Olds Aquatic Centre, Olds Municipal Library, Mountain View Museum and Archives, and several sport fields. These all work together to keep the community active and enhance the quality of life we have come to enjoy. The Olds Sportsplex features two ice surfaces, six sheets of curling ice, (operated by the Olds Curling Club), and a concourse area available for rentals, dances, shows, meetings and other functions. The Olds Aquatic Centre (Swimming Pool) features an 8-metre Waterslide, a 25 metre Pool with 5 swimming lanes, a hot tub, a Tot Pool with beach-type entry for children and the physically-challenged, and a Multi-Purpose Room perfect for parties and meetings. Olds Aquatic Centre also offers a variety of programing including, swimming lessons, fitness classes, youth camps, and First Aid Certification. The Town of Olds also helps maintain several sports fields including O.R. Hedges Park, Deer Meadow School, École Olds Elementary School, Imperial baseball diamonds, Imperial Way (soccer), South East Industrial Area (Elks soccer field) and new in 2018/2019, the Rotary Athletic Park of Olds. 74% of respondents indicated funding levels for Recreation Facilities should remain the same or increase, 26% indicated funding to Recreational Facilities should be decreased. This Affects You: Budget Engagement, September 2018

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2018 Budget for Recreational Facilities is $1,709,450

Economic Development Olds is one of the most innovative and progressive communities in Canada and is a great place to start or grow a business. It combines the dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit for which Albertans are known, with a genuine commitment to sustainable prosperity and quality of life. The Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development is an organization focused on enhancing the prosperity of the community of Olds. It is a unique, community-driven partnership which includes five essential members: The Town of Olds, Mountain View County, Olds College, the Chamber of Commerce and the Olds Regional Exhibition. The Olds Institute and Town staff promote the existing business environment and work collaboratively with prospective investors, developers, and entrepreneurs looking to establish new businesses in Olds. The Town of Olds represents a broad cross-section of Central Alberta, including economic activities that enable the region to advance sustainable economic development and compete more successfully in the global market. 58% of respondents indicated funding levels for Economic Development should remain the same or increase, 42% indicated funding to Economic Development should be decreased. This response is a slight, downward trend compared to 2017 where 74% of respondents indicated they were comfortable with current spending levels. This Affects You: Budget Engagement, September 2018

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2018 Budget for Economic Development is $438,090

Community Development The Town of Olds provides a wide range of family and community support services and works with citizens and community organizations to create a healthy and vibrant community. The town supports the community by facilitating community-lead initiatives that encourage residents and visitors to celebrate arts, culture, heritage, and community. Community building is achieved through collaborative partnerships such as the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development, Service Clubs, Family Community Support Services (FCSS), and the Nu2U thrift store. The Town of Olds supports seniors by providing information regarding the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act. The Town with support of community volunteers, operates the Sunshine Bus which is, a wheelchair accessible, subsidized bus service for seniors over 50 and physically disabled persons of any age. 68% of respondents indicated funding levels for Community Development should remain the same or increase.

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2018 Budget for Community Development is $157,400

Data Comparisons The top priority that respondents asked council to focus was Operational Services and Public Safety. Thinking into the future, the following items were selected as areas of focus.

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Learnings from the Budget Consultation The budget survey was the primary method of engagement used to gather public feedback. It was listed on Town of Olds website and advertised from July 12 to September 14, 2018. 81 people provided feedback, 277 people viewed the site. Overall participation was down from 19% from 2017 where, 100 people responded and 443 people viewed the site. The results of this survey is an indicator of public sentiment. Questions emulated the 2017 budget consultation in order to generate base-line information as we continue to gather budget data. Key funding areas were grouped and participants could increase, decrease or keep the current level of spending the same for each area. Recommendations for future budget conversations include conducting the engagement earlier in the year. People may have time to do a short survey during the summer but the budget is a complex subject. On average the survey took 17 minutes to complete, where on average respondents are more likely to participate if the survey can be completed within 5-6 minutes. The on-line tool used in 2018 was based on citizens balancing the budget, the total of the overall budget could not be increased or decreased. This did not give people an opportunity to raise or decrease the total budget. Conflicts with other engagements may have also influenced participation. The engagement of Legalization of Cannabis in the Town of Olds overlapped most of the budget engagement. This likely vied for people’s time, as well as competed for advertising and promotion space which may have resulted in lower participation.

Next Steps Information from this consultation was compiled and a report will be presented to Council for consideration. Specific feedback on matters pertaining to individual departments was shared. This report will be used during Service Level Reviews.

Thank You Town of Olds Council and Administration would like to thank those who participated in the consultation process for their valuable feedback which will play a crucial role in on-going budget deliberations. Swim passes and beach towels were awarded to three respondents who completed the survey. Congratulations!

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