Ponoka Town Council approved the 2024 Budget during the April 23 regular meeting.   

The total budget amount is $26,150,422, including an Operating Budget of $22,914,360 and a Capital Budget of $3,236,062.  

“During budget deliberations, council and administration worked to find efficiencies and arrive at a lean, fiscally responsible budget. The 2024 Budget balances and delivers key priorities in the town’s strategic plan by carefully managing spending while continuing to fund essential services that our citizens rely on,” Sandra Lund, Town of Ponoka Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) said. “The budget also invests in maintaining and upgrading key infrastructure to best serve our community and position our town to grow and thrive into the future.”  

Assessment growth of residential and non-residential properties that generated tax revenue of $298,000, helped maintain property tax rates at a 4.9 per cent increase, a Town of Ponoka press release said. The increase was initially approved by council last fall in the Interim Budget.   

“Council worked very hard to keep property taxes as low as possible while continuing to fund all the key services that citizens expect,” Mayor Kevin Ferguson said.   

The increase in property taxes will help to offset inflationary costs.   

The budget includes infrastructure renewal projects such as annual maintenance and improvement of town roadways and sidewalks, an expanded skate park, waterworks system improvements, sports field maintenance and upgrades, Lions Centennial Park upgrades, and design development of a new civic square.   

“The town is committed to maintaining and replacing key infrastructure in our community each year as determined by our asset management planning,” Ferguson said.   

He added that most of the town’s capital and infrastructure projects are typically funded through provincial and federal grants. However, in the 2024 Budget, over a third of project funding will be allocated from town reserves due to decreasing grant funding.   

Through public engagement, residents indicated the top priorities they wanted council to consider in the budget included community safety, parks and recreation, growth and economic health, and roads, sidewalks, and trails.  

“Citizen input is a critical part of the budget planning process,” Ferguson said. “I think this budget does a very good job of balancing the needs of our community while positioning Ponoka for continued growth and success.”