Tay council takes deep dive into budget this Thursday

·2 min read

Council will be scrutinizing staff recommendations around budget items at its special council meeting this Thursday morning.

One of the items to be added to the operating budget is capacity to bring on a second summer municipal law enforcement student next year. Staff rationalizes the increase in budget by stating in its agenda report that an additional hire in that position would assist in dealing with the increase of a seasonal influx of complaints, as well as provide additional enforcement on weekends and holidays during summer months.

The anticipated impact to the 2021 operating budget for the Protective and Development Department would be $12,270.

Further in budgeting, council will have the opportunity to indulge in detailed discussions around operating and capital budget recommendations coming forward from the various divisions within the corporation.

Part of it involves not increasing wages for council and volunteer firefighters and changing the summer student staff complement from 10 summer students hired for 18 weeks to four positions hired for 26 weeks and two summer students hired for eight weeks changed to three summer students hired for 18 weeks. It's not clear how this affect students away at university or college, who aren't home for more than half the year.

The staff report also alludes to discussions being held between the YMCA and township staff about a loan that will be offered to the non-profit, in collaboration with neighbouring municipalities.

The staff report goes on to list the total community grants given this year. The number comes out at $251,000 and increases to $290,000 for next year based on requests that have already been received by council.

Staff is also recommending deferral of a few capital projects that were identified in bridge inspections reports over the years. The suggestion is to defer the projects for another couple years.

The three projects to be deferred until 2022 are the Granny White bridge, Rumney Road culvert replacement and Rosemount Road - north bridge.

In concluding the report, staff is still bringing forward a 2.7% increase in tax rate for 2021, unless reserve funds are used to bring it down to the 2% council has requested.

In addition, staff is presenting options for acquiring infrastructure funding to support projects such as Oakwood Park improvements, upgrades to Tay Community Rink, Port McNicoll fire hall health and safety upgrades and resurfacing Tay Shore Trail.

The meeting can be viewed online or an audio-only version can be accessed via phone at (705)999-0385 using the meeting ID 897 6141 3858.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com