RMWB Council approves 2022 budget

Total budget of $570 million supports strategic investments and community needs, while ensuring long-term financial sustainability

(Fort McMurray, AB – February 8, 2022) – The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (MRWB) council has approved a municipal budget of $570 million for 2022. The budget includes $442 million for operations and $128 million for dollars to be transferred to reserves for capital assets and other purposes. The approved capital budget is $156 million with funding from reserves, grants and 2022 revenue.

Budget 2022 is $2 million more than last year’s budget and supports the Municipality‘s continued commitment to achieving a 5:1 tax ratio, which is a comparison between the highest tax rates and the lowest. Since 2017, the Municipality has reduced the overall amount of the budget by $270 million.

Budget 2022 is important for this region,” said Mayor Sandy Bowman. “It will play a positive role in supporting local communities, economy and businesses in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. As a Council, we have made commitments to what matters to those who live here, including investments in community resilience, rural and urban infrastructure development, downtown revitalization and many other programs, services and projects we need to build an even stronger house. Budget 2022 also highlights the need to strengthen relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities, social purpose organizations, local businesses, industry and all residents at a time when we need to focus on unity and solidarity. On behalf of my colleagues on Council, I thank Chief Administrative Officer Jamie Doyle and the City Administration and all community organizations and residents who contributed to Budget 2022.”

Budget 2022 Highlights

The approved budget supports the region’s priorities, with a focus on building safe and inclusive communities, improving services and infrastructure, and regional economic development, while ensuring long-term financial sustainability.

Here are the highlights of the 2022 operating expenditure commitments outlined in the budget.

  • $43 million in direct community support to local not-for-profits, including municipal facility operators. (Decisions on two grant applications were deferred to the March 8 Board meeting)
  • $43 million for fire and ambulance services
  • $21 million for parks and outdoor recreational spaces
  • $64 million for environmental services, including water, wastewater and landfill services
  • $47 million for police support and municipal services
  • $20 million for road maintenance

Here are highlights of the capital spending commitments outlined in Budget 2022.

  • Flood Mitigation Design and Construction: Total budget of $125 million / $17 million in 2022
  • Rural water and sewer service: $180 million for construction and $49 million for the total service connections budget. / $2 million for service connections in 2022
  • Fort McKay Community Center: Total budget of $12.6 million / $3 million in 2022
  • Fort Chipewyan Airport Runway Rehabilitation: Total budget of $17.7 million / $16 million in 2022
  • waterfront park: $30 million total budget / $15 million in 2022

“I thank Council for approving a well-balanced budget that supports strong community partnerships and invests in projects, initiatives and services that contribute to a greater community,” said General Manager Jamie Doyle. “I would also like to thank City staff for working diligently to improve efficiency, find savings and develop a fiscally responsible budget.”

2022 Provisional Operating Budget

Council approved an interim operating budget of $110 million for 2022 on November 22, 2021 to ensure continuity of services to the community during the first quarter of the year. The full 2022 budget approved by Council supersedes this draft budget.

For those interested in learning more about the 2022 budget, educational resources are available on the municipal website and more highlights will be available in the coming days at rmwb.ca/budget.

Members of the public can watch videos of all budget meetings and view approved budget documentation at rmwb.ca/council. For more information or questions, please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, 1-800-973-9663 or online at rmwb.ca/pulse.