Perth South council reviews first draft of 2021 capital budget

·2 min read

By Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Perth South Council held their first meeting of 2021 last Tuesday and the primary subject up for discussion was the first draft of the Township's 2021 capital budget.

Lead by Treasurer Rebecca Clothier, the Council's review of the draft capital budget for the coming year began with a broad overview of the coming projects. Per the draft budget, 56 percent of the projects are road-related, 14 percent is for vehicles and equipment, 13 percent is for recreation and facilities, 10 percent is for bridges and culverts, five percent is for administration, and two percent is for the building department. It was also displayed where the funding for these projects would come from, with 58 percent coming from levy taxation, 25 percent coming from grants, 16 percent coming from reserve transfers, and one percent coming from other funding. It was noted that, at the time of the capital budget presentation, that a review of the Township's 2020 surplus has yet to be finalized, meaning they could reduce the amount of money coming from reserves once it is clear exactly what the Township's surplus is.

An extra piece of information that was added to this year's draft capital budget was the inclusion of a five-year outlook on future projects. These projects are tentatively planned to take place in the next five years and it was done, partially, to illustrate the increase in capital projects that Councillors should anticipate and be cognizant of in the coming years. Extensive detail was only provided for the projects scheduled for this year, but a general estimate was provided for the future costs laid out in the five-year capital budget plan. Some of the projects mentioned in the draft capital budget were a renovation to part of the Old Township Hall, a new and less time-consuming software for the Township's salaries, and a pickup truck for the building department, among many others.

It should be noted that this draft capital budget wasn't signed and fully approved for implementation, but was presented as a part of the overall draft budget, which the Township's Council will be reviewing over the coming weeks. Members of the Council did ask for more information to be gathered on several items, including more specifics on engineering costs related to road projects, the merits of adding a second lift of asphalt to road projects and if any qualified for such an addition, and the potential to work with the County of Perth on some projects and how it may help achieve better project costing.

Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Marys Independent