Budget ready for final approval

·2 min read

ADELAIDE METCALFE - Council accepted the 2021 Budget in principal during their Wednesday, 10 February 2021 meeting.

This year will see approximately $4.13-million raised through taxation, up from $4.06-million last year. At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, the tax rate was set to remain unchanged.

It’s “business as usual” in the township as the draft budget numbers are generally consistent with last year’s budget. As always, some changes are worth noting.

General Revenues are expected to be down about 11% with $553,600 budgeted in 2021, compared to $625,400 budgeted last year ($855,882 actual). Those actuals included a large amount under “Local Improvements”, of $214,064, which came from ratepayers for the switch to wheelie bins, dog tags, drains, Kerwood sewers annual billing, and Highway 81 Sewer debenture.

Most other numbers in General Revenues remain consistent, with the exception of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) amount which is down around 14% from last year. The yearly general assistance grant is folIowing a trend, reducing on average $91,166 per year in recent years. Adelaide Metcalfe will get $435,600 from OMPF in 2021.

The Administration Budget is down 10% overall from last year, from $744,578 in 2020 to $669,218 in 2021. Low 2020 actuals play a part; as of November 2020, only $241,856 had been spent. In some cases the township lowered numbers to be more realistic; for example, $127,500 was budgeted for legal costs in 2020, but under $40,000 was spent. This year, that amount has been lowered to $50,000.

The only major increase in Administration is $402,402 for Salaries & Wages, up 10% from $366,500 last year. This reflects the recent hiring of a new CAO and the future hiring of a Treasurer.

Highway 81 Sewer expenses are up, due to a debenture amount owed to Strathroy-Caradoc for sewer improvements along the commercial corridor. Adelaide Metcalfe will aim to pay back $971,323 over 20 years.

A public meeting to formally pass the budget will occur on Monday, 15 March, starting at 7pm.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner