DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The municipal budget is one of the most intensive undertakings performed by councillors, and they recently revealed the tentative schedule for this year’s municipal budget deliberations.
At a recent council meeting, a report from treasurer Tobi Lee outlined the timetable which was approved by the members of council, to begin on Tuesday, January 9th, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., although they cautioned,the specific dates are subject to change, depending on availability of staff and councillors. The final schedule is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, but the order of deputations laid out in the report is expected to be close to the final order.
As detailed in the report, budget discussions are slated to begin in January and continue for several weeks, as department heads appear before councillors, to offer further explanation for the projects and initiatives undertaken over the 2024-2025 timeframe.
Following the discussions, the final municipal budget will be voted on for approval by councillors, at a meeting in late January or early Februrary, with the operating and capital budgets scheduled to be adopted in February of 2024.
No specific times have been given yet, and the schedule is subject to change. However, the expected order of appearance was listed as Public Works, Township Properties & Other Projects, Community Centers/Halls, the Music Hall & Facilities, Fire, Clerks (includes Clerk’s Office, Bylaw and Animal Control), Township Hall, Council, CAO and Corporate Expenditures, Other Expenditures (includes Livestock Claims & Other Expenses), Treasury, Development Services (includes Building, Planning and Committee of Adjustment), Heritage, Economic Development, BIA, Arena and Parks & Trails (includes Arena, Parks & Trails, Skatepark, Splash pad), Recreation, Culture and Tourism (includes Cultural Facilities, Heritage, Pool, Tourism), Health & Safety, Library, and wrapping up with Financial Activities.
Ward 4 Councillor Willie Popp noted, discussions with staff are slated to begin in September and will continue to be reviewed and refined through December. As explained by Councillor Popp, this process allows the various township department heads and councillors to have greater clarity heading into the department-by-department budget discussions in January.
“We’re going to harden those numbers in advance, and look to have a clearer indication of where we’re at, moving that into January versus December,” added Councillor Popp. “The other thing [this] allows us to do is to have a clearer line of sight to where we’re at in terms of growth, so we’re not plugging and playing with a number which we don’t have absolute certainty in. It allows our department heads to point with certainty at the projects which are truly meaningful at the end of the day.”