CKL 2019 Capital Budget Adopted
By Kirk Winter
At a Special Meeting of the CKL Council on January 23 the Tax Supported Capital Budget for the CKL was approved unanimously after many hours of debate, deletions and discussion.
During the presentation of the proposed budget by staff some parameters were made clear. The budget adhered to the Corporate Strategic Plan adopted by the previous council. In addressing capital needs, a methodical process occurred beginning with a discussion of municipal service levels, the Asset Management Plan, the Long Term Financial Plan and where things fit in the Capital Budget.
Staff shared that the City has assets in 2018 dollars of approximately $3.5 billion.
Staff continued by requesting a $49 million operating budget for projects right across the City that will focus on “replacement and renewal” in 2019.
$23 million will be spent on roads, a 6.75 percent increase over 2018, and a 31.15 percent increase over 2017 road spending.
$4 million will be spent on the replacement and renewal of Russell and Peel Street.
$4.1 million will be spent on spring graveling of unpaved roads.
$2.3 million will be allocated to a new garbage cell at the Lindsay landfill.
$1.9 million will be spent on the amalgamation of the Oakwood and Little Britain fire halls into one new building.
$1.5 million will be spent on the Logie Street Park, with another $2 million required for the Bobcaygeon Beach Park.
$2.6 million will be allocated to the replacement and renewal of City recreation facilities, particularly arenas.
Staff said the budget proposed and the projects designated as priorities work within the debt ceiling, and bring in the tax increase at approximately 3.8 percent.
The floor was then open to questions and discussion.
Councillors Dunn and Yeo wanted a more forthright and understandable way to report how money was being spent by the City. Councillor Yeo wanted to know how to reduce the actual tax levy on CKL residents, and stated that Council does not have clear direction on where the money comes from, and how savings found in the budget will be applied. Councillor Dunn suggested that the City needs to have a meeting in the near future to discuss a more forthright manner of financial reporting.
CKL Council then moved into a line-by-line budget review, with multiple items highlighted by various Councillors for investigation and discussion.
Items Removed From 2019 Budget
Second aerial truck for Fire Department – $1.4 million
Study regarding a new facility for paramedics in the south of CKL – $360,000. If approved, the study might have led to the approval of a new facility that could have cost as much as $7 million.
Items Added to the 2019 Budget
Culvert at Otter and Omega Roads – $143,750
Repairs to Bayview Estates Road – $116,000
Kinmount Medical Centre feasibility study – $75,000
Fencing at Wilson Fields – $20,000
With the last budget addition now debated, the City was facing a depleted Capital Reserve of only $310,000, and a budgeted tax increase of approximately 3.5 percent for 2019.
Mayor Letham asked Councillors what they wanted to do with the savings caused by the cancellation of the second aerial truck - money that was allocated could be used to increase the Capital Reserve or further decrease the tax levy. A decision was made by Council, and $1 million was moved from the Fire Fleet Reserve to the Capital Reserve, bumping that total up to approximately $1.3 million.
This decision and the Tax Supported Capital Budget with changes made were passed by Council unanimously bringing to a close six hours of intensive budget review.