Prairie Post (West Edition)

Town of Coaldale an efficient, low, spend-low revenue municipali­ty


On June 23, the Town of Coaldale officially released its 2021 Comparativ­e Analysis which compares Coaldale's operationa­l and financial performanc­e to the operationa­l and financial performanc­es of eight other similarly sized and/or neighbouri­ng municipali­ties (Blackfalds, Taber, Innisfail, Edson, Drumheller, Ponoka, Lethbridge, and Lethbridge County).

Overall, the report shows that Coaldale is performing exceptiona­lly well – especially when it comes to maintainin­g a healthy operationa­l expenditur­es & revenues ratio.

As the chart below reveals, when adjusted for population Coaldale has the lowest total expenditur­es and the second lowest total revenues among both its peer and neighbouri­ng municipali­ties.

In 2020, Coaldale spent $1, 636 per person on total operationa­l expenditur­es and collected $2, 186 per person in total revenues.

While these figures are not insignific­ant, they are substantia­lly lower than they are in similarly sized municipali­ties.

For example, while Edson spent $2, 514 per person on total operationa­l expenditur­es in 2020, Taber spent $2, 456 per person. That amounts to spending 54% and 50% more per person than Coaldale on day-to-day operations.

Alternativ­ely, while Edson collected $3,358 per person in total revenues in 2020, Taber collected $2, 853.

What this is means is that Edson and Taber collected 54% and 31% more per person than Coaldale by way of taxes, fees, and other revenue sources combined.

“Like shareholde­rs, Town residents have a vested interest in knowing just how healthy or unhealthy Coaldale's fiscal situation really is, and by comparing its financial performanc­e to the financial performanc­es of its peer and neighbouri­ng municipali­ties, we're able to provide them with a clearer, more comprehens­ive picture of our overall performanc­e,” said Cameron Mills, Director of Growth & Investment for the Town of Coaldale.

“What the results of this analysis confirm is that Coaldale continues to be quite diligent in terms of keeping its day-to-day costs down, and likewise takes in less revenue from its citizens and businesses to support those expenses. We believe this higher efficiency model is in line with what our residents expect from our operation.”

Also included in the report is an analysis of Coaldale's expenditur­erevenue ratio. In the private sector, expenditur­e-revenue ratios are used to make an all-encompassi­ng assessment of a company's overall operationa­l efficiency.

The same, however, can be done for municipali­ties – and on this metric, Coaldale also outperform­s most of its peers and neighbours.

For every dollar that Coaldale collected per person in 2020 (from taxes, fees, and other sources of revenue), it spent

approximat­ely 75 cents per person.

Meanwhile, for every dollar that similarly sized Innisfail and Ponoka, for instance, collected per person in 2020, they spent 94 cents and 97 cents per person, respective­ly.

This means that rather than spending almost everything it takes in on day-to-day operations or, worse, spending more than it takes in on day-to-day operations, Coaldale collects enough in revenues to cover day-to-day operations and has the ability to fund long term capital investment­s.

The Town's 2021 Comparativ­e Analysis is part of the Town's ongoing commitment to transparen­t government. To read the Town's entire 2021 Comparativ­e Analysis, please visit:­eAnalysis.

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