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Posts Tagged ‘Smiths Falls Budget’

Budget points to zero per cent increase, mayor questions increases from 2014

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 @ 12:03 PM
posted by admin

BY AMY HOGUE

Council appears to be holding firm to a zero per cent tax increase for 2015, although staff are waiting for final numbers that will complete the budget.

Deputy treasurer, Janet Koziel, presented council with an overview of the draft budget at a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on Mar. 9, presenting it to council as “a balanced budget.”

This fourth draft of the budget saw a number of changes to the operational budget, among which included revisions to the Community Donations budget line that saw a reduction of $27,200; the combination of the chief building official position and bylaw enforcement position which should see a reduction of $48,027 in payroll costs; an increase in costs related to the freezing of water main pipes, of $22,413, and a decrease in the Community Improvement Program of $50,000.

Koziel also pointed to a year-end surplus from 2014 that was “delightfully larger than anticipated” at $141,000. The overall impact of the changes means a total decrease of the operational budget of $50,837, and a decrease of $683,000 in capital expenses which were either deferred or reduced.

Koziel explained the fly in the ointment could come with the County Reconciliation, which is expected to come in at $100,000, but noted that number could fluctuate. Staff are also waiting for numbers from the province, which could impact the final totals for the 2015 budget. If a grant application of $475,000 to the Build Canada Fund is denied, this could also impact the final numbers, leaving council to search for creative ways to make up the difference.

Councillor Jay Brennan thanked staff for their efforts in maintaining the requested zero per cent increase, while Mayor Shawn Pankow questioned the additional expenses the town will face due to the freezing water mains, asking, “are we leaving ourselves pretty tight?”

CAO Malcolm Morris recommended that without final numbers that could impact the budget, council should not give the budget first and second reading that evening (Mar. 9), but wait until staff have received all the information needed to finalize the budget. This could mean early April before the budget will officially be approved by council.

“This will give us time to come back with solutions for the $60,000,” Morris told council, referring to the additional costs the town is facing due to the freezing pipes issue.

Pankow questioned the increases in the 2015 operational budget over the 2014 budget amounts.

“Before we set the budget, I’d like more insight into what’s contributing to these increases,” Pankow said, noting that although there could be real reasons for the increases from 2014, that “we can’t do that every year.”

Morris pointed out that “the areas where we’re seeing an increase could indicate where we should lend our attention to a service review.”

The budget is set to come back to the committee meeting on Mar. 23.









Posts Tagged ‘Smiths Falls Budget’

Budget points to zero per cent increase, mayor questions increases from 2014

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 @ 12:03 PM
posted by admin

BY AMY HOGUE

Council appears to be holding firm to a zero per cent tax increase for 2015, although staff are waiting for final numbers that will complete the budget.

Deputy treasurer, Janet Koziel, presented council with an overview of the draft budget at a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on Mar. 9, presenting it to council as “a balanced budget.”

This fourth draft of the budget saw a number of changes to the operational budget, among which included revisions to the Community Donations budget line that saw a reduction of $27,200; the combination of the chief building official position and bylaw enforcement position which should see a reduction of $48,027 in payroll costs; an increase in costs related to the freezing of water main pipes, of $22,413, and a decrease in the Community Improvement Program of $50,000.

Koziel also pointed to a year-end surplus from 2014 that was “delightfully larger than anticipated” at $141,000. The overall impact of the changes means a total decrease of the operational budget of $50,837, and a decrease of $683,000 in capital expenses which were either deferred or reduced.

Koziel explained the fly in the ointment could come with the County Reconciliation, which is expected to come in at $100,000, but noted that number could fluctuate. Staff are also waiting for numbers from the province, which could impact the final totals for the 2015 budget. If a grant application of $475,000 to the Build Canada Fund is denied, this could also impact the final numbers, leaving council to search for creative ways to make up the difference.

Councillor Jay Brennan thanked staff for their efforts in maintaining the requested zero per cent increase, while Mayor Shawn Pankow questioned the additional expenses the town will face due to the freezing water mains, asking, “are we leaving ourselves pretty tight?”

CAO Malcolm Morris recommended that without final numbers that could impact the budget, council should not give the budget first and second reading that evening (Mar. 9), but wait until staff have received all the information needed to finalize the budget. This could mean early April before the budget will officially be approved by council.

“This will give us time to come back with solutions for the $60,000,” Morris told council, referring to the additional costs the town is facing due to the freezing pipes issue.

Pankow questioned the increases in the 2015 operational budget over the 2014 budget amounts.

“Before we set the budget, I’d like more insight into what’s contributing to these increases,” Pankow said, noting that although there could be real reasons for the increases from 2014, that “we can’t do that every year.”

Morris pointed out that “the areas where we’re seeing an increase could indicate where we should lend our attention to a service review.”

The budget is set to come back to the committee meeting on Mar. 23.

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