While town administration is being brought up to speed on the impact of the provincial budget, Mayor Jeff Genung was pleased to see there wasn't a further cut to Family and Community Support Services funding.
Cochrane FCSS was hit hard by a change in the new provincial model implemented last year. Mayor Genung has since been advocating for the government to not make further cuts, or even better yet, beef it up a bit.
"It's not ideal with everything that the pandemic has thrown at our residents and society. I believe the need for FCSS services is greater than ever before, so I'm happy to say that at least they didn't touch that funding."
"I think we were a model community in our FCSS programming and financial strategy in how to pull off all the programs. It's disappointing, but I think we were basically punished for that. Programs can't address every single municipality in how they were doing business in the policy, but we were certainly on the short-end of that one."
Education property tax also remains the same. The town doesn't have any control over this tax but is required to collect them on behalf of the province.
When education taxes rise, the town does take heat from residents.
"While we say there's a zero impact on tax increases this year with our own municipal budget, we're always having to collect that on the province's behalf. If they increase the property tax on the education portion, then we, in turn, look like we've raised taxes. So I'm happy to see that it is staying the same."
It usually does take a little time to digest the finer details of the provincial budget.
Last year, the town discovered a decrease in its share of traffic ticket revenue and the loss of tax-in-lieu revenue from the one provincially-owned building in Cochrane.
"Those types of things, we'll see over the next few days. I know some of our staff are in educational sessions this afternoon (Feb. 26) at the provincial level garnering just those details, and we'll have more of those to share next week."
The examination of budget estimates will also keep Alberta MLAs busy starting next week.