“The 2017 draft budget allocates just over $28 million and represents a 2 percent tax rate increase which is in accordance with the Long-Term Financial Plan adopted by Council in 2015”, noted Chief Administrative Officer Brian Carré adding that “again this year, the budget focusses on the Municipality’s infrastructure deficit as outlined in our 2013 Asset Management Plan”.
“Council is very pleased with how the budget process has gone this year”, said Deputy Mayor and Chairperson of Corporate Services Barb Tobin. “We wanted to continue our efforts to engage and enhance communications around the budget process and we believe that the use of social media, surveys and providing all the budget information on the Municipal website in addition to multiple public meetings has done that.”
The process began in November with a pre-budget survey which asked taxpayers to rank the importance of a variety of priorities identified in Municipal policies and plans. Staff then used the results of the survey to develop a draft budget that was presented in January. The public were again invited to ask questions and submit suggestions at two public meetings or through a variety of other methods including direct communication with Council members or Department Directors, social media and the website. Answers were provided at the following meetings and all of the questions and answers were posted on the Municipal website along with the budget presentation from staff, a detailed copy of the budget itself and the survey results.
The February 21st Committee of the Whole meeting will include a discussion of the final draft budget and the public are once again invited to attend to ask questions or provide comment. In addition, all the other forms of communication are also still available – email, telephone, Service Request via the website or in person at the Municipal Office.