News — 13 December 2017

By Michael Christianson

Council is set to vote for the 2018 budget on December 18, which is on schedule for the timeline presented last June.

After numerous senior management team meetings and two drafts of the operating and capital budget plan, staff put forward a balanced budget to recommend to Council. The budget proposes a Property Tax rate increase of 0% along with no reduction in service levels.

If all external sources of funding are approved and received as planned, total Capital spend for 2018 will be $4.3 million. From that $461K will come from City funded Capital from 2018 Operations,  $239 thousand from Capital carried forward from 2016 (allocated to and to be drawn from Reserves), $223 thousand from Capital carried forward from 2017 (allocated to and to be drawn from Reserves) and $624 thousand from Capital funded from Reserves in 2018 ($49 thousand of which to be paid back through operational savings).

Capital carried over from previous years comes from uncompleted or unrecognized projects. 

“Some of it is out of our control,” said Steven Lansdell-Roll. “The majority of them relate to the Barclay landfill and delays in purchasing the buffer zone land around the landfill that is required and we’re not going to be doing monitoring wells on that site until it’s all prepared and we’re not going to be doing the preparation until the land is all purchased so the majority of the 2016 deferrals relate to the Barclay landfill.”

The budget presented also featured an estimated increase for non-union and union staff as well as an estimated increase in funding to the NWHU and KDSB.

The budget does not include any potential impact related to Bill 148, which will raise the minimum wage.

Both the Treasurer and the CAO Ernie Remillard applauded the effort of the staff and gave them credit for getting a completed budget to council on time.

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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