Brighton politicians discuss ‘barebones’ 2021 capital budget

·2 min read

Brighton’s 2021 budget process is underway.

Councillors began deliberations about the capital aspects of the proposed budget during an Oct. 26 committee of the whole meeting at the King Edward Park Community Centre. Further discussion about the capital budget will continue Nov. 3, followed by operating budget presentations and discussions later in November.

“I think what we’re looking at is a barebones budget,” said Brian Ostrander, committee of the whole member and Brighton’s mayor.

The proposed 2021 capital budget provides an increase of $43,401 or 2.99 per cent over the 2020 capital budget. The capital budget for the Municipality of Brighton includes upgrades and renewal/replacement of infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, storm sewer system, water plant and distribution system, wastewater plant and collection system, buildings, vehicles and equipment.

In advance of the 2021 budget process, staff presented a report to council requesting approval of budget guidelines. Council set a pre-budget increase of zero per cent on operating budgets and an increase of the Construction Price Index (CPI) up to two per cent, plus one per cent on capital budgets.

“I want to thank staff for taking the direction of council quite seriously,” Ostrander said. “Finding out what the CPI was and adding one per cent to it – you’ve quite successfully done this, all of you, thank you very much for coming in with a three per cent overall capital budget.

“My thanks to council for considering that additional one per cent (beyond CPI) because even though it’s just one per cent, we know that if we don’t stay on top of this stuff that it very quickly falls behind,” he added.

The overall 2021 budget will be approved by council after a series of these committee of the whole meetings.

A public presentation of the proposed 2021 budget will occur on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. The budget bylaw will then be before council on Dec. 7.

To review the draft capital budget in detail, click here. ​

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News