UXBRIDGE: With municipal budget deliberations set to resume later this week, Councillors are confident that they can find further savings for local taxpayers.
Discussions surrounding the 2016 municipal budget are set to resume on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall, located at 51 Toronto St. South.
“We’ll have our staff there to answer any questions we may have come up with over the holiday break, and hopefully we can come up with some solutions to make things more efficient,” Ward 2 Councillor and Finance Committee Chair Pat Molloy told The Standard.
In December, the members of Council engaged in a series of public meetings, where they slashed nearly $200,000 in expenses for the coming year. However, Councillor Molloy urged his counterparts to seek out greater reductions in spending.
“If there’s something in the budget that we can’t identify we’re going to do next year then we need to take it out. There’s so many budgets like this where the money wasn’t spent then they say ‘well, we’re hoping to spend it next year.’ We can’t keep doing this, we need to start finding some money.”
In an interview with The Standard, Coun. Molloy noted that the budget process has seen its share of challenges for council as well as township staff for a variety of reasons.
Township funding from the province through the Municipal Partnership Fund was reduced by nearly $100,000 for 2016. As Coun. Molloy explained, since 2012, this funding has fallen from approximately $1.2 million to about $400,000. The township is also anticipating a loss of $100,000 in tax revenue from local gravel pits due to a reassessment on their property taxes. In addition, the municipality has also had to deal with increases in utility costs in recent years.
“Just like homeowners, we are also very much affected by rising heat and hydro rates at all of our facilities, which is a major expense,” commented Coun. Molloy.
Following the session on Thursday, councillors will determine if future discussions will be needed. Township staff are confident that the 2016 budget is on schedule to be approved later this month.