County hardly feels budgets’ effects

The morning after the Alberta Government released the budget, Ponoka County CAO Charlie Cutforth still hadn’t been able

The morning after the Alberta Government released the budget, Ponoka County CAO Charlie Cutforth still hadn’t been able to gain access to specific information telling him how the budget would affect the county.

“I was frustrated right off the bat this morning (March 8),” said Cutforth.

Cutforth said his password seemed to have expired, and by noon he was still waiting for access to the information. “What makes me mad is all this security. It’s public knowledge.”

Once on the website, Cutforth found the numbers hadn’t been posted, forcing him to get on the phone to find out what he wanted.

However, even before he visited the website Cutforth he knew the student Summer Temporary Employment Program grant had been cut. “We were eligible for $7,600 annually . . . that’s not a huge hit for us.”

At $156,000 the agricultural service board remained unchanged and Cutforth says the total for the Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant was also the same and sitting at $2.8 million.

However, the school requisition increased $405,000, meaning a $30 increase for taxpayers per year in provincial education taxes. “Our total requisition is about $6.8 million,” said Cutforth.

“The budget didn’t really affect us to any great extent,” he concluded.