Committee reviews $2.4 million in cuts to 2016 capital plan
Council expected to pass capital budget by late January
Tuesday, Jan 05, 2016 06:00 am
Olds town administration presented the policies and priorities committee with $2.4 million in proposed cuts from the original 2016 capital budget during its meeting on Dec. 21.
The committee debated the budget further, which initially had a project value of $7,547,590.
This $5.1-million revision still needs to be passed by council. Town chief administrative officer Norm McInnis predicts that will happen late this month.
Administration laid out its rationale and the amounts to be cut from the selected projects.
Intersection improvements at 57 Street and Highway 2A, valued at $1.5 million, could be axed completely. The town is waiting on Olds College to conduct its traffic impact study after Centennial Village has been open for a year. That would determine what improvements are needed. Plus, changes to the intersection would need approval from Alberta Transportation.
Thus, signal lights at the intersection, costing $300,000, were also deleted.
The original 2016 capital plan included four solar-powered pedestrian crosswalks. Two would be cut, with locations to be decided later. This would save $140,000.
The budget for resurfacing and building new trails would be cut by $100,000.
"We'll hammer that out when we get our unit prices. When we go to tender, we'll find out what it's going to cost us per lineal metre of asphalt and we'll finalize exactly how much we can do, depending on the price we'll have to pay," McInnis said.
The $738,000 Street Improvement Program would be trimmed by $100,000. The 2016 project would be to rebuild 54 Avenue.
As well, administration stated there was "no compelling reason" to complete the $18,000 Memorial Way project in 2016, which would be revisited the following year.
Olds mayor Judy Dahl said she agreed with what was presented.
More could still be trimmed from the budget. Council questioned spending $25,000 on 11 Hydrorider Aquabikes, citing issues of storage and potential duplication of spin classes offered at the CLC. The Olds Aquatic Centre would use the bikes for a class aimed at demographics that do not currently use the pool. The intent is that the class would help generate more revenue.
"When we're trying to cut costs, to me this seems like a bit of an extravagance for our pool right now," said Coun. Mary Anne Overwater.