At the regular meeting May 25, Council approved a four-year budget cycle that will reduce the administrative cost to create annual budgets, increase efficiencies in allocating resources, and shift the focus to only the incremental changes that require Council approval.
“The current trend is for municipalities to move towards multi-year budget cycles in alignment with the four-year council term,” said Deputy Mayor Matt Rockley. "This is the next step towards more strategic budgeting that will help move Okotoks forward."
Annually, the focus would be on additions or adjustments to services that might be necessary. There would be a check-in with Council every May and September to determine any changes requiring amendments to the budget guidelines, which would then be incorporated into an updated budget.
Council will consider approval of the 2022-2025 Budget at the regular Council meeting on December 13, 2021. In years 2-4 of the budget, administration will focus on any major changes or impacts that would need to be incorporated into that budget year. A placeholder of 300K per year allotment has been established to support any evolving Council priorities on an annual basis.
“The enhanced reporting tools and the allocation of funds to meet future critical strategic priorities will ensure the changes Council would like to see in the community will be achieved in a more transparent manner,” said Chief Administrative Officer Elaine Vincent.
As the work for the Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 will not begin until the new Council is in place, placeholders will be used to act as a proxy that will be validated when the plan is approved for implementation.
The Town will continue to seek public input during the budget process with an online survey in June, which will help Council identify what the community values the most and how public opinion and service level priorities are trending over time.
Further information on the refinements to the budget process: