Following four days of budget deliberations, council has approved the Clearwater County's 2018 operating and capital budgets.
The budget was approved in a special meeting held on December 19, 2017.
The budget includes operating revenues of over $47,951,000 and expenses of $34,082,000 with capital expenditures of $39,698,000. Ten million dollars of reserve funds were allocated towards a broadband internet project and $6 million to further advance the County's paving program.
“The internet is an essential service,” said Reeve John Vandermeer in a release. “A vast majority of Clearwater County residents and businesses are underserved, and rural areas of Clearwater County do not meet the basic CRTC standards for broadband connectivity. Economic diversity, sustainability and innovation are essentials to Clearwater County’s growth and we require internet infrastructure necessary to achieve that success.”
Some adjustments to the County's budget included the removal of an operations and administrations building, pending a revised needs assessment to be completed in 2018 and the deferral of the Beaver Flats Road upgrading project to the 2020 budget.
The 2018 budget reflects five functional departments, however in restructuring in late 2017, the County’s operations were reduced to four departments. No service level reductions are anticipated as a result of the organizational structure changes.
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