KAWARTHA LAKES: Council has decided that next year’s 2017 budget will see a decrease of $2.5 million from the 2016 budget. The City says, “the reduction recommendations are to come with minimal disruption to existing service levels.”
The total City operating budget is approximately $150 million. About one third of the operating budget, $50 million, is dedicated to staff payroll and benefits.
"We are in the service industry, and it is our people who manage and deliver our needed local services,” commented CAO Ron Taylor. "We will review all areas of our operating budgets and recommend where deeper cuts can be made, and that will be Council's decision later this year.”
During the July 12 Council Meeting, Ron Taylor provided council with an overview of efforts at the administrative level to reduce costs while reviewing the way the City delivers core services.
"We have shifted our way of doing business to critically review programs, services and processes, and have made necessary changes to find savings in our operations. The City's administration continues to be committed to this goal."
The City is continually reviewing revenues, fees and funding opportunities with the goal of stabilizing budgets while maintaining and enhancing the delivery of core services and programs.
"In future, we are striving to stabilize budgets to ensure that tax increases are in line with the cost of living, while improving our needed programs and services," stated Mr. Taylor.
Also, at the June 28 Council meeting, the treasurer reviewed financial statements for 2015 for the City and announced a surplus of $1,489,162.
“The City avoids ending the year in a deficit position, as this would mean tax payers would see an adjustment line on their next tax bill to make up the difference. Ending the year with a surplus of less than 1 per cent of our budget is considered noteworthy in municipal accounting,” treasurer Carolyn Daynes said in a press release.
The surplus is reported to have come from three main areas: new growth, personnel savings and continuous improvement efforts.
Council will next meet on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. at City Hall.