The water main emergency has caused a setback in how the town administration originally intended to present the 2024 to 2026 three-year budget draft.

It was originally scheduled to be presented on Oct. 24, followed by a two-day public information session but that was before the water main break sent the town spiralling into a State of Emergency.

With town operations slowly returning to normal, council is now set to get its first look at the draft budget on Nov. 6.

READ: Tense moments in discussion on town budget process

A more detailed presentation is expected to be made than in recent years to provide residents with some additional insight into its rationale.

It will be clearly identified as the administration's draft budget and presented to council in a "working document" format. It will include FTE counts and clear identification of year-over-year variances with the goal of greater understanding, transparency, and function for deliberation and debate.

A scheduled administration-led public consultation scheduled for Oct. 26 and 27 also had to be cancelled. At this point, the town will be obtaining feedback through its Let's Talk Cochrane portal.

With tax and utility increases included, the draft calls for a total annual increase of over $213.48 for the average home in Cochrane.

Council's budget deliberations will be held during special council meetings on November 14, 15, 21 and 23. 

The budget is expected to be finalized at council's Dec. 11 meeting.

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