Future Budget Considerations Has Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Council Cracking the Books

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo council, budget considerations

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo council will be using a microscope to go over the budget in order to try and identify further areas where savings can be achieved in the near future. The council vote was 5-4 when the motion to examine all of the capital projects in the budget which were more than $10 million, and the vote was unanimous when it came to directing the administration to find further savings in the short term operations budget. According to Coun. Tyran Ault the council needs to prepare for potential revenue if there are deferments or cancellations with currently scheduled oilsands projects. Ault stated “I strongly believe we need to take a deeper look … to make sure we’re building the right things at the right time. This region is a much different place than it was when we approved the budget in December and it’s unlikely to change or go back to the way it was.”

Fort MacMurray Mayor Melissa Blake discussed the short term budget considerations before and after the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo council voted. “We can always review and revisit any of the operating expenses or expenditures that we have, but we already have the funds … to cover off the capital that council had committed to. The extra money that would come from saving it, I don’t know where they want to have that directed. It was just more of not understanding … the expected outcomes from the process.” Ault responded with “I don’t have the magic answer in what we do with the money. But I firmly believe that there is some money there that we can save, whether that then gets spread out or deal with debt … or keep it in the bank to be prepared for when we’re not going to have money that we’re projecting due to some of these deferred oil projects.”

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