This story has been updated to include comments from Lacombe Police Service Chief Lorne Blumhagen.

 

The City of Lacombe recently passed their 2019 capital and operating budgets at their latest council meeting on November 26th.

As mentioned in their proposed budget, they were able to keep the tax increase to 2.8%, which is on par with Alberta's Consumer Price index, which means a home valued at $372,000 will see an increase of $87 next year.

One of the biggest changes was a reduction of $25,000 from the Lacombe Police budget, adjusting their contribution from the original $50,000.

Mayor Grant Creasey says, $25,000 on a $3.2 million budget isn't that huge of a reduction, and it was done so because of warranted but unsustainable increases to their budget of about 50% over the last 5 years.

“While that (the 50% increase) may have been warranted, and the police do a terrific job in our community, we’re very proud of them. In saying that, there are financial limits to everything, and they are going to be expected moving forward to keep costs under control and down to that Consumer Price Index.”

Creasey says he doesn't see a decrease in any LPS services in the immediate future, but it'll be up to the LPS and the Lacombe Police Commission to determine the best way to continue their level of service with a mild deduction.

“That’s precisely why we have a bunch of dedicated members in our community that oversee our police service as the Lacombe Police Commission, and I’m sure they will make choices that are in the community’s best interest.”

The Lacombe Police Commission and LPS Chief Blumhagen made a presentation to council to reconsider the budget decrease, worrying it would have a negative impact on the amount of crime in our community, which currently is rated low nationally on the Crime Severity Index.

Blumhagen explains that this doesn't mean their budget has been reduced

“They made the cut to our original amount; they didn’t actually cut our entire budget request. We’d actually requested an increase of about $168,000. Now they have reduced that increase to $143,000 increase overall. So they haven’t actually cut any dollars to our operating budget moving forward, just reduced the amount of increases we’ve requested.”  

Blumhagen says this will mostly affect their long-term capital reserve fund, which helps purchase things like new vehicles or equipment.

“So when we’re making those purchases because some years we have to make larger purchases or replacements, we transfer money to those reserves. So as far as our operations go, it will have a very little impact for 2019, however, in future budget years there will have to be considerations on ensuring those dollars are in place to make our future capital purchases.”

Purchases such as new vehicles or replacing worn out equipment is where the money from those reserves usually go.

Blumhagen said this was Lacombe's effort to keep all departments on par with Alberta's Consumer Price Index.

Lacombe is one of only seven other communities in Alberta with their own police force.

Click here for full details on Lacombe’s 2019 capital and operating.

More Local News

Adopt a single-parent family in need this Christmas

If you know a family who may need a little help this Christmas, there are plenty of programs available in central Alberta to help out those in need. Those programs also work together to make sure…

Alberta government pulls through for Sylvan Lake EMS

Sylvan Lake’s team of paramedics is about to grow thanks to help from the Alberta government. In fact, a lot of communities in Alberta will be receiving more medical help thanks to a $29 million…

UPDATE: Located. 71-year-old missing from Piper Creek Lodge

From Red Deer RCMP: December 14th, 9:00 am. UPDATE: Located. 71-year old Melvin Bailey had been located safe and RCMP thank the public for their assistance. ------------------------- From Red Deer…

RCMP investigating multiple bomb threats in Alberta

From Edmonton RCMP: The Alberta RCMP is aware and investigating email bomb threats that were sent to multiple businesses in communities throughout Alberta. The email threats are demanding Bitcoin…

23-year-old charged with manslaughter on Sunchild First Nation

Rocky Mountain House RCMP: The RCMP has laid charges against a female following an assault with a weapon that left a 25-year-old woman deceased and a 24-year-old male injured. At 2:36 a.m. on…

Volunteer firefighters have their own emergency 'courtesy' lights

We all know that blue and red flashing lights mean cops, ambulance and fire use mostly red lights, and amber and red mean snow plow ahead. But what does a flashing green light on a vehicle indicate?…

Innisfail RCMP charity check stop nabs over 800 pounds of food

Content provided by Innisfail RCMP: The Innisfail RCMP Charity Check stop took place this past weekend. Due to the generosity of the community, a total of $8,882.18 in cash and cheques were raised.…

UPDATE: Male arrested for mischief at Stettler motel

From Stettler RCMP: December 12th, 2018, 5:00 pm: The male responsible for this incident was located and arrested at approximately 12:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to appear before a…

New year means new waste management for Ponoka

Since their current contract is expiring at the end of this year, Ponoka councillors decided to go a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly route for its curbside collection program for…

Lacombe enhances Recreation and Culture Grant for 2019

The city of Lacombe is making some local movers and shakers happy, with the announcement that they are increasing the funding of the Recreation and Culture Grant program. The grant, which helps…

CochraneNow.com is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login