Tudor and Cashel draft budget to be presented at April meeting

Nancy Carrol, the clerk and treasurer of Tudor and Cashel Township, submitted a report at the council meeting on March 7, requesting council set aside April 4 at 9 a.m. for a meeting of the whole. This meeting would facilitate the presentation and discussion of the 2023 draft budget. Councillor Jerry Chadwick provided a synopsis of the proceedings of the first Finance and Planning Committee meeting on March 6, which will have influence on the coming budget. After discussing it, council accepted Chadwick’s report on the first Finance and Planning committee meeting and agreed to set aside April 4 at 9 a.m. for the draft budget discussion.

Carrol submitted her report requesting that council schedule April 4 at 9 a.m. to discuss the 2023 draft budget she would present. According to her report, the draft budget will incorporate figures submitted by other departments and boards for council discussion. She recommended that the meeting be called as a meeting of the whole to allow for budget procedure discussions.

“Following this meeting, council can schedule a second meeting if required on May 2, 2023 at 9 a.m. to discuss any further concerns and the intention is to have the [final] budget passed at the May 2 regular meeting of council [at 1 p.m.],” she said in her report.

At the March 7 council meeting, Mayor Dave Hederson introduced Carrol’s report and asked if there were any questions or discussion on it. With none forthcoming, he called a vote and council voted to have the 2023 draft budget discussion on April 4 at 9 a.m.

Hederson also invited Chadwick to provide an oral report on what transpired at the Finance and Planning Committee on March 6. Chadwick said that they achieved quorum although one member was absent. Later in his presentation, he also asked that an additional person be permitted to join the committee, as there was no deadline posted for community members to do so. Council had no problem with that and subsequently voted to allow David Mitchell to join the committee.

Chadwick went on to say that the committee reviewed their mandate and the applicable sections of the procedural bylaw, and came up with a list of future topics to be discussed and resolved. He said they also had a presentation on investments, with the advice not to buy GICs but to look at bonds and high interest savings accounts instead. The committee also wanted to have a look at the township’s investment policy, to recommend changes if necessary, and Carrol said she would get it to them for their next meeting on March 27.

They also had a discussion on municipal accommodation potentially raising a lot of money for the township, and this was referred to Councillor Brent Taylor’s short-term accommodation ad hoc committee for review.

Chadwick said they also had a lengthy debate on insurance of the township’s buildings and equipment, which was referred to the committee from the last council meeting. He said that the committee didn’t feel that they should insure at the current replacement value as provided by their broker, McDougall Insurance, but consider insuring these items at approximately 75 per cent instead.

The rationale behind this was that they may not replace buildings like for like but could look at repurposing buildings and not necessarily replacing them in kind. For instance, he said they may want to look at moving the administrative offices that are currently in the community centre building now to the roads building and having the current community centre as a more open concept structure, which could cost less money to rebuild if needed.

Tudor and Cashel Township council, at their Feb. 7 meeting, discussed the insurance coverage on the township’s buildings, fixtures and equipment, and that the assessed values of these items underlying their coverage was undervalued. With council’s approval, Hederson directed staff to seek current replacement costs for all buildings, equipment, furniture and fixtures, bring that information to the Finance and Planning Committee so they could discuss it and come up with a recommendation on replacement strategy and then have the committee bring that recommendation to council at their next meeting. These were the recommendations that Chadwick brought forward at the April 4 meeting.

Hederson wanted to know if they needed to put another $20,000 to $30,000 into the budget for insurance premiums before they come to budget.

“The answer to that question is, it depends on what values the finance committee wants us to insure at,” he says.

The finance and planning committee therefore will figure out definitively if they want to go with the recommendation of 75 per cent coverage, keep it the same, or increase the insurance coverage by their next meeting on March 27, in advance of the April 4 draft budget meeting.

“It’s good if we think we need more, it’ll cost us more,” Hederson says, “But we might not need as much as what [McDougall Insurance] was saying.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times