It may feel like Niagara municipalities just wrapped their 2023 budgets, but West Lincoln is already looking at 2024.
The township has opened an online survey regarding next year’s budget, allowing residents to provide their feedback on both operating and capital budgets.
The survey, which is available on the township’s website, westlincoln.ca, will be open until Nov. 24.
Donna DeFilippis, the town’s treasurer/director of finance, said it’s important to find out what services are most important to residents, where they’d like to see resources go, and find out if residents feel they’re getting good value for their tax dollars.
“We just really want to engage them, give them an opportunity to have their say,” she said. “This is a good opportunity to alert them as to budget timing, what the budget dates are going to be, and just to encourage them to get involved.”
The presentation of the 2024 capital budget and 10-year capital plan is scheduled to be presented at the all committee meeting on Jan. 15, with draft operating and capital budget coming to a special council meeting on Feb. 5.
Staff are planning on having the budget ratified by the end of January.
“I know the meetings may not be on the top of everybody's agenda,” she said. “But it's really important because that's when a lot of really critical decisions are made.”
With so many new residents in the area, DeFilippis said it’s a good chance for a fresh start and find out what the newcomers are prioritizing.
West Lincoln Mayor Cheryl Ganann echoed DeFilippis’ statements, underlining how important public participation is when it comes to building a budget that accurately reflects the needs of a community.
“As West Lincoln continues to grow, council is faced with the challenge of balancing increasing demands on service levels with upholding fiscal responsibility,” Ganann said. “We are committed to supporting strategic and responsible growth without breaking the bank. I encourage you to take this opportunity to get involved in the budget process.”
Budget meetings can be attended both in person, or online via the livestream link on the township’s website.
Abby Green, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News