SCUGOG: Councillors had their first look at the 2017 draft capital budget, at a meeting on Monday, Nov. 7th.
At the meeting, a draft budget of about $9.8 million was presented to Council. Two of the changes to the budget procedure, Council adopted this year, was having council give staff a pre-budget wish list they would like to see in this year’s budget, and Council setting a target tax rate increase of 1.5 per cent.
“There’s been a lot of work that has gone into the preparation of this budget,” treasurer Dianne Valentim told Councillors.
Funding from the projects identified includes; about $3.46 million from Township reserves, approximately $4.4 million from provincial and federal grants, and about $1.9 million from debenture funding.
Multiple road projects have been identified for the 2017 budget, including reconstruction and urbanization on Scugog Line 6, work on the Manvers/Scugog Townline Rd., Caesarea road resurfacing and reconstruction, and Crandell St. reconstruction, which is currently waiting for possible grant funding.
“If we are successful, [Crandell St. reconstruction] would be 90 per cent funded by grant,” Ms. Valentim said.
Ward 5 Councillor, Jennifer Back, spoke about her concern with having the $10,000 Birdseye Pool Water Feature Replacement line item, in the budget.
“My concern is the same as the last two budgets, that the birds are not a priority, and we do have more pressing needs in the Township to spend our finite resources on, and I recommend the birds be removed from the 2017 capital budget,” she said.
However, Mayor Tom Rowett felt it is best to take care of the non-functioning equipment now.
“I think that, if we have a piece of equipment in the Township that is not functioning, it is representative of the Township as a whole for visitors who come to use the pool,” he said.
Craig Belfry, Scugog’s Manager of Recreation and Culture, said three out of the six bird features at the pool need to be replaced.
Some of the other projects identified in the budget included; the LED streetlight conversion project, the reconstruction of the bell tower at Town Hall 1873, grader replacement and new booking software for the recreation and culture department.
The Township will hold a capital budget open house on Wednesday, Nov. 9th, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library.