Wasaga Beach council and town staff have lots of work ahead of them. Work has begun on the 2018 draft municipal budget, and Mayor Brian Smith had all department heads submit a wish list, the budget items they feel most important in the coming year, and all told, it’d make for a 15.33 per cent increase to municipal taxes next year. Of course, it’s just a starting point, but it gives a glimpse of the issues council will have to review as they whittle down the increase to something more manageable. “A budget always has to start somewhere and staff outlined from their individual perspectives what each department requires,” Mayor Smith said. “Next week, council will review the priorities it set for itself at the start of the term, what it has accomplished so far, and what it would like to accomplish in the last year of the term.”
The following is a list of key dates regarding the budget process:
Sept. 5 – Committee of the Whole to consider the 2018 budget assumptions, and receive for information an overview of the opportunities and challenges in preparing the 2018 budget.
Sept. 12 – Committee of the Whole discussion on council priorities for 2018.
Sept. 18 to 20 – CAO, treasurer and budget analyst to review first draft operating and capital budgets with department heads.
Oct. 3 – Committee of the Whole to review first draft operating and capital budgets in summary format. During this meeting, key budget items and council priorities will be discussed further in the context of the status of the first draft of the budget. These will be discussed further at the Oct. 17 meeting.
Oct. 5 – Any discussion items arising from the Oct. 3 meeting are due from members of council to the treasurer.
Oct. 10 – Reports due from staff on discussion items identified by members of council.
Oct. 17 – Committee of the Whole presentation of reports related to discussion items.
Oct. 20 – Proposed changes to 2018 rates and fees due from staff.
Oct. 27 – Four-year operating and 10-year capital forecasts due from staff.
Oct. 31 – Committee of the Whole to review second draft detailed operating and capital budgets and proposed changes to 2018 rates and fees.
Nov. 21 – Committee of the Whole to review third draft operating and capital budgets, four-year operating and 10-year capital forecasts. Treasurer will request permission to advertise the public meeting scheduled for Dec. 12.
Nov. 28 & Dec. 5 – Committee of the Whole budget meetings, if required.
Dec. 12 – Public Meeting for consideration of 2018 operating and capital budgets, four-year operating and 10-year capital forecasts, 2018 rates and fees (including water/wastewater update). Recommendation that bylaw proceed to council once school board and county rates are received.
Dec. 19 – Council approval of 2018 operating and capital budgets, four-year operating and 10-year capital forecasts, and 2018 rates and fees.