As we enter the Christmas Season and the days get shorter and colder, Council will begin the 2021-2023
3-year budget processes. This will be the last budget for this council as 2021 is a municipal election year. Council is anticipating some challenges in this budget process due to the uncertainty of Provincial and Federal funding with the expectation of cutbacks in funding being most likely as those governments deal with COVID-19 complications. The Province has also mandated that all municipalities pay for policing costs (previously all municipalities under 5,000 population and all rural municipalities were exempt). This will impact the Town of Hanna by $48,000 in 2021 progressing upwards to $150,000 in 2024. As always, the Council will do their best to maintain current tax levels. The added difficulty will be predicting how the pandemic may continue to affect our operation in 2021.
As winter arrives so does the change in the operation of Town facilities. The arena and curling rink is open, and the user groups are in full swing following COVID-19 protocols established by the province and their respective associations. Centennial Place is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Mon to Fri and 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on weekends. The walking track is available during those times for those who would like to walk in comfort during the winter. There are also daily activities occurring throughout the week for those interested in participating. Hanna Dance and Kiddies Korner have begun their seasons.
Administration and staff will continue to monitor the changing COVID-19 guidelines provided by the province as active cases continue to rise. I encourage you to stay informed by receiving the electronic newsletter that has recently launched. It’s easy to sign up by visiting the Hanna website and scrolling to the footer or you can simply call the office and staff will get you subscribed.
I would like to personally thank all the residents, businesses, and health care workers for doing an excellent job of following the guidelines to keep our vulnerable people safe.
Stay safe and be well.
Chris Warwick, Mayor