Help shape Cochrane’s 2025-2027 budget

Have your say in Cochrane's budget planning process!

(Cochrane, AB) – Cochrane residents are invited to provide their feedback on Cochrane services, as a first step in developing the 2025-2027 operating budget.

Prior to drafting the budget, Administration is seeking to understand the community's desired level of service to ensure departmental business plans and budgets reflect community demand and design service delivery in an effective, efficient and financially sustainable way.

“Engaging Cochrane residents during this budget process continues to be a priority for Council and Administration,” says Stacey Loe, Executive Director Corporate Services, Town of Cochrane. “We are looking for feedback on municipal services again this year so we can ensure that Cochrane’s budget reflects the service levels: what is working for you, what isn’t, and how we can best serve the people of Cochrane – today and into the future.”

Cochrane operations impact residents, businesses and other stakeholders every day. The survey lists Cochrane departments and seeks input into whether a respondent feels service levels should increase, decrease or stay the same.

Last year, Council and Administration formed a Budget Task Force following adoption of the 2023 budget. The task force reviewed the current budget process and made recommendations for improvement. One early example of the work stemming from the task force was outsourcing the budget engagement to a third-party consultant. This ensures that questions and results are statistically valid.

From that survey we learned that over 57% of respondents felt that they received good or excellent value from municipal services, with 50% of respondents supporting an increase in taxes to maintain or increase services. Your feedback led to increased investment in parks and pathways, roadways and community safety with the addition of four more firefighters.

“Over the next few weeks, all Cochrane households will receive a postcard in the mail with a QR code and phone number inviting them to participate in the survey,” said Stacey Loe, Executive Director Corporate Services, Town of Cochrane. “Some residents will also be contacted directly by phone. To ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate, the survey will also be posted on our Let’s Talk Cochrane public engagement website.”

The Let's Talk Cochrane engagement portal which launched last May provides enhanced opportunities for residents to participate in projects and decisions that impact the future of the community. It is vital hub for engagement, attracting 12,145 visitors and 775 new registrants for the site between May-December 2023). Engagements such as the snowplow naming contest, let’s talk public engagement, Phase 1 of Envision Cochrane 2050 and the Age-Friendly Initiative emerged as some of the most popular community engagements last year.

“Cochrane Council and Administration are committed to finding new, better and more effective ways to receive input from residents on topics that affect the community,” added Loe. “Engaging Cochrane residents during the budget process has always been important as we build a budget that reflects the community needs. We want to hear what matters to you, and what kind of community you want to live in. This information will help build operational budgets for departments throughout the municipality.”

Survey results will be presented to Council for consideration, with the draft budget timeline and principles planned for presentation to Council in May. Following Council’s direction, Administration will draft the 2025-2027 budget over the summer and provide a draft budget to Council in the fall. The budget is debated in November and finalized by Council in December and guides service-level decisions for the coming three years. A capital budget is also presented to Council for consideration, providing specific funding for infrastructure projects, equipment and fleet.

To participate in the survey and provide feedback, community members are invited to use the QR code or text link on the postcard delivered to each residence later this week or visit www.letstalkcochrane. Additionally, an external consultant, Advanis, will be conducting a random telephone survey with Cochrane residents over the age of 18.

The online survey will be available from April 8 to May 8. For more information, visit