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THIS AFFECTS YOU: 2018 Budget Public Consultation November 20th, 2017

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


Contents Introduction.................................................................................................................................................. 2 Key Learnings from the Budget Consultation ........................................................................................ 2 2017 Financial Highlights .......................................................................................................................... 3 Budget Context ........................................................................................................................................... 3 Population, Growth and New Development ........................................................................................... 5 Survey Results ............................................................................................................................................ 6 Council and Administration ....................................................................................................................... 6 Operations ................................................................................................................................................... 7 Public Safety ............................................................................................................................................... 8 Parks and Trails.......................................................................................................................................... 9 Planning and Development..................................................................................................................... 10 Recreation ................................................................................................................................................. 11 Economic Development .......................................................................................................................... 12 Community Development ........................................................................................................................ 13 Other survey questions ........................................................................................................................... 14 Key Learnings from the Engagement Process .................................................................................... 15 Next Steps ................................................................................................................................................. 15 Thank You ................................................................................................................................................. 15

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This Affects You: Budget Engagement - 2018


THIS AFFECTS YOU: 2018 Budget Public Consultation

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. A new online interactive budget simulator was available for the public to help council and administration understand spending priorities of the community. The online tool was used to help explain services that depend on tax revenue and how tax dollars are currently allocated. Charts, links and background information was included and the tool used a default of $317,310 which was the 2017 average assessed property value for Olds to demonstrate the actual tax distribution in key spending categories. $2662.58 of property tax would be collected based on an assessment of $317,310. Citizens could also confidentially enter their own property assessment value which automatically updated the charts with the actual value based on their own tax dollars. The feedback gathered in 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!

Key Learnings from the Budget Consultation 84.14% of respondents indicated that they are satisfied with how tax dollars are managed or would support an increase to support higher levels of service1. 15.84% of respondents indicated they would like to see reductions greater than 10%. This is consistent with feedback from an earlier public consultation where 67.67% of respondents indicated “To ensure that community needs for parks, open space and trails amenities in the Town of Olds are better met, how much of an increase in annual property taxes would your household be willing to pay?”2 Providing the public with comparative data on tax rates, water, sanitary sewage service and waste disposal may help to address some public perception concerns shared by respondents. Increased public education on the town’s current employment standards, existing compensation tools and policies that determine staffing requirements and administration and Council remunerations may increase public confidence regarding the Town of Olds fiscal management strategies. The results of this survey were provided by a 1% or a relatively small representation of the population. Results are an indication of public sentiment and can provide base-line information that can be used going forward with future public engagement initiatives.

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RESPONDENTS WHO INDICATED AT LEAST 95% SATISFACTION LEVEL WITH CURRENT SPENDING ALLOCATIONS THIS AFFECTS YOU: PARKS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MARCH 30TH, 2017 WHAT WE HEARD: A REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY 2

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2017 Financial Highlights The Town of Olds levies taxes each year as required under Section 353 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). Town council is required to prepare a balanced budget for both operating and capital expenditures. The 2017 operating was approved on April 17, 2017 at $19,498,902 excluding utilities. The 2017 capital budget established by council in 2017 was $12,114,735 which is funded through grants, debentures, utility rates, reserves and municipal taxes. The operating budget is funded through municipal taxes, user fees, reserves and grants. One of the first items of business the 2017-2021 Council will undertake is approving the 2018 budget by the end of this year.

Budget Context 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, 33% of property taxes are remitted to the provincial government, the remaining 67% is used by the Town of Olds to support local municipal services.

Based on an average property assessment value of $317,310.00 with property taxes of $2,662.58 in 2017, the property tax dollars are allocated this way:

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The tax portion that the Town receives from an average assessment ($1,812.06) is then distributed this way:

For every $1 of taxes paid in 2017, $0.67 is used by the Town for the following: $0.14 Council & Administration: 7 elected officials and approximately 126 fulltime, casual, seasonal or part time staff members $0.13 Public Safety; Fire, Police & Municipal Enforcement $0.13 Recreational Facilities; Sportsplex, Pool, Library, Museum, Sports Fields $0.12 Operational Services; roads, sidewalks, snow removal $0.07 Parks and Trails; over 100 acres of parks and 18 km of trails $0.04 Planning and Development, Permitting, Land Use Bylaws, Municipal Development and Area Structure Plans $0.03 Economic Development; includes Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development (OICRD), Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) $0.01 Community Development; Special Events, Heritage, Public Art & Culture, Cemetery, Family & Community Support Services, Adult Guardianship & Trusteeship Act support

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, Water and Sanitary Sewer Services which are fully funded through utility rates. Cultural Programs which are funded from Natural Gas Franchise fees includes 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 by fees collected by developers, private donations or grants. 4|Page

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Population, Growth and New Development As our municipality edges its way to reach city status eligibility, planning for the future and envisioning the expectations of the community are imperative. In 2016, the enumerated population of the Town of Olds was 9,184, which represents a change of 11.5% from 2011. A low growth scenario (2% annually) projects our population to exceed 10,000 citizens in the next four to five years. The Town of Olds provides services to surrounding rural residents of Mountain View County which also experienced a 5.8% increase in growth in the same period. Despite sluggish provincial economic trends, as of October 2017, Olds had issued 852 Business Licenses, which is a steady increase over the 2016 statistics. Olds has already seen an increase of $3.7 million in building permits over 2016, with the possibility of many more opportunities expected in the coming months.

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Survey Results 100 people responded to the new budget survey that was open to the public from September 5 to October 24 2017. Key funding areas were grouped and participants could increase, decrease or keep the current level of spending the same for each area.

Council and Administration Council includes the Mayor and six Town Councilors who set the overall direction of the municipality through their role as policy makers. The policies and bylaws that council sets are the guidelines for administration to follow as it does the job of running the municipality. Historically, public sector salary and compensation is a key 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 the current market conditions, with a focus on the public sector. The Town operates in a non-unionized environment and positions within the Town of Olds are critical to achieve the level of service that is determined by council. To gain a better understanding of service levels and what is involved to achieve them, Council meetings are open to the public and citizens are encouraged to become informed and to get involved. Current Human Resources for the Town of Olds:

*Olds Fire department currently has 48 Volunteer Firefighters. The Fire Chief and Fire Administrative support are included as part of fulltime staff compliment. Full time staff include Operations, Parks, Finance, Office of the CAO, Community Services, Facility Staff as well as the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OICRD) Executive Director and Administrative Assistant. Other full time positions include, RCMP detachment clerks and Municipal Enforcement officers. Casual staff include 31 Olds Aquatic Centre employees and 7 Sunshine Bus Drivers. The summer staff employment program accounts for all seasonal staff.

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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 is extensive and includes, but is 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 and Operations centres.

When asked for services that are primarily funded directly from tax dollars 52% of respondents stated Operations should receive the greatest attention from tax dollars.

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Public Safety Public Safety and Enforcement includes the Town of Olds Fire Department, RCMP, and Municipal Enforcement teams. They protect, preserve and restore public safety through programs and services and provide education, compliance assurance and emergency and disaster response systems. The Town of Olds, with our law enforcement and emergency service partner’s focus on education, prevention and emergency preparedness, through training and community outreach to ensure that 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 being 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 48 volunteer firefighters. 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 and 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 and potentially harmful to public health and safety or the environment.

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Parks and Trails The Town of Olds features over 100 acres of parks. This includes 18 kilometres of trails, 11 playgrounds, a Skateboard Park, Splash Park, Off-leash Dog Park, Disc Golf, and a vast amount of green spaces. The Town also manages and maintains the town’s cemetery, a peaceful and beautiful area to reflect and cherish memories. The Town of Olds is very proud to create and maintain the places that serve residents and visitors and make our community beautiful. Town of Olds Parks includes:              

Centennial Park - 50 Avenue and 53 Street Skateboard Park – 54 Street & Centennial Park Splash Park – Centennial Park Off-Leash Dog Park - West on Highway 27 Ryan Boutwell Memorial Playground - 5401 53 Street (Handicap Access) Disc Golf - Hartman Green - 56 Avenue and 53 Street Frank Wong Memorial Park - Shannon Drive Beech Cres - 63 Avenue and 53 Street Craig's Corner Memorial Park - 48 Avenue and Highway 27 Ralph Maybank Memorial Park - 56 Avenue and 50 Street Richards Crescent - Richards Crescent Neil Leatherdale Park - 54 Avenue and 43 Street Herb Samis Park - 46 Street and 50 Avenue Destiny Place - 2 Destiny Place

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Planning and Development Planning and Development is responsible for ensuring that 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 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 Municipal Development Plan, Area Structure Plans, the Land Use Bylaw and Alberta Safety Codes. This includes building inspections for commercial, residential, and structural improvements to ensure development is safely completed to building codes and standards.

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Recreation Recreational opportunities continue to grow in Olds. We work to provide the community 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 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 ice for curling 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 tall Waterslide, five-lane, 25-metre Lane Pool, Whirlpool, a Tot Pool with beach-type entry for children and the physically-challenged, a Multi-Purpose Room perfect for parties and meetings, full programing including swim lessons, fitness class, youth camps and First Aid certification. The Town of Olds also help with maintenance of 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 2018/2019, the Rotary Athletic Park of Olds.

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Economic Development Olds is one of the most innovative and progressive communities in Canada. 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 (OICRD) is the economic development agency of the Town 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. OICRD 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 is a member of the Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) which represents a broad cross-section of Central Alberta, including economic activities which enable the region to advance sustainable economic development and compete more successfully in the global market.

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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, a wheelchair accessible, subsidized bus service for seniors over 50 and physically disabled persons of any age.

Examples of Community Service Activities: Community Events

FCSS Programming

FCSS Programming-continued

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Art Battle Canada Day Eye of the Lens Project Great Trail Scavenger Hunt Community Registration Night Family Movie Nights Halloween Howl National Aboriginal Day Olds Fashioned Christmas Oldstoberfest Pickup Garbage Day Public Consultation Santa Claus Parade Seniors Week Volunteer Appreciation Night

Heritage, Arts & Culture    

Heritage Management Legacy Bench Program Olds Historical Society & Mountain View Museum Liaison Memorial Way Banner Project Public Art

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             

Boys & Girls Club Chinook Arch Victim Services Volunteer Training/Recruitment Chinook's Edge - Olds High School Speaker Program -"Get Real" Day Diversity Days Family School Wellness Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Healthy Families Hope Pointe Community Church The Conversation Has to Happen Finding our Voices Growth Circle Boundaries Alternatives to Violence Wisdom for Story Walk Self-Compassion Workshop Daring Greatly/Rising Strong Meals with Meaning

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Mountain View Communities Adult Learning Society - Family Literacy Program Mountain View Emergency Shelter Society Olds & District Hospice Society, Volunteer Training & Support McMan - Connect Parent Group Summit Psychology Inc. Cool Kids Stopping the Pain Adolescent Anxiety YES! Youth Programming

Other Community Supports   

Nu2U Thrift Store Sunshine Bus Citizens on Patrol

This Affects You: Budget Engagement - 2018


Other survey questions When asked to think about future priorities for the Town of Olds over the next 3-5 years the top ten areas included:  Crime and Safety (52%)  Snow Removal (40%)  Road maintenance (38%)  Economic Development (33%)  Debt Reduction (31%)  Community Development (25%)  Water (23%)  Facilities (20%)  Trails (20%)  Downtown Revitalization (17%)

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Key Learnings from the Engagement Process The working group had a de-briefing meeting on October 25 to review the process and determine next steps. The over-arching consultation goals were achieved and staff agreed the engagement was successful. The team had set a higher public participation target but even with 100 respondents, it was a marked improvement from the previous public participation process. Timing of the engagement process during an election period had some advantages but also limited the amount of face to face public engagement opportunities due to concerns of unduly influencing individual campaigns. Learnings to consider for the 2019 Budget Consultation included:  

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Spikes in participation coincided with face to face opportunities such as the Community Registration evening and Seniors Luncheons; look for more opportunities to meet with the public. The Citizen Budget webpage IP address had been advertised which was an additional step for people to maneuver; for ease of use the survey should have only been accessed directly from the Town of Olds webpage as a more seamless process for the public. 40 more surveys were collected in the 2017 Parks Engagement Survey and this was likely due to paper copies being available. Although no complaints from the public were received, to increase participation non-computer options should be considered. Although citizens under 18 do not pay taxes, no feedback was received from this demographic. A different engagement tool could be used engage the younger citizens of Olds in the future. There were 443 visits to the budget website and 100 people completed the survey. The average response time to complete the survey was 12 minutes. Efforts should be made to reduce the length of time it takes to complete the survey to see if the participation rate increases. Background information could have be provided outside of the survey to shorten the length of time it took to complete the survey. The time of the year or season and current hot topics that are covered in the media likely influence some of the survey feedback.

Next Steps Information from this consultation was presented to Council on November 6 and November 20th for consideration. Specific feedback on matters pertaining to individual departments was shared. This report will be reviewed periodically including during Service Level Reviews scheduled in the spring of 2018.

Thank You The 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 the on-going budget deliberations.

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