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Frequently Asked Questions-Operating Budget

What's the difference between the City's operating budget and the City's capital budget?

  • The Capital Budget identifies required capital projects and provides a planning schedule as well as a financing plan. It includes one-time construction costs for things such as new roads, recreation facilities, new parks, new buildings or building renovations, and utility projects.
  • The Operating Budget includes ongoing operating costs for services or programs such as police, fire, electric, parks operations, public transit, water & sewer, road maintenance, snow removal, libraries, arenas and swimming pools. The 2019-2022 Operating Budget was approved by City Council on December 10, 2018 and the review of the 2021-2022 Operating Budget as approved by City Council on December 14, 2020.

What is the annual operating budget for the City of Lethbridge?

  • The operating budget for 2021 is $423 million. 

How is the operating budget funded?

  • The operating budget has two main areas which have different funding sources:
  1. The General Fund is funded from property taxes, user fees, grants & other general revenues. It includes ongoing operating costs for services or programs such as police, fire, parks operations, public transit, road maintenance, snow removal, libraries, arenas and swimming pools. The General Fund budget is $249 million in 2021.
  2. The Utility Fund is funded by utility rates. It includes ongoing operating costs for electric, water, sewer, landfill, garbage collection and recycling. The Utility Fund budget is $174 million in 2021.

How often does the City of Lethbridge set the operating budget?

The City practices multi-year budgeting, which means that every four years, City Council deliberates and approves a new four-year operating budget. However in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic City Council undertook a review of the 2021-2022 Operational Budget in support of a recovery strategy.