“Al­most per­fect” bud­get re­port pleases coun­cil

Le Reflet (The News) - - LA UNE - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

The draft re­port for the 2017 bud­get is on the table now for Rus­sell Town­ship coun­cil to re­view. The good news is that next week’s sche­du­led two-day pu­blic re­view ses­sion may not take as long to do if coun­cil mem­bers have no ob­jec­tions to most of the line items in the bud­get draft.

“I’m hap­py to present this re­port,” said Jean Le­duc, town­ship chief ad­mi­nis­tra­tor, du­ring the Oct. 3 coun­cil ses­sion.

The draft bud­get pro­poses a 1.5 per cent tax in­crease for next year com­pa­red to the 2016 bud­get. The to­tal pro­po­sed 2017 bud­get for Rus­sell Town­ship is about $39 mil­lion, but $11 mil­lion of that consists of the por­tion al­lo­ca­ted for mu­ni­ci­pal wa­ter and se­wer ser­vice pro­grams and pro­jects. Those are co­ve­red through lo­cal user fees and are not part of the ac­tual pro­per­ty tax re­ve­nue por­tion of the bud­get.

The 2017 bud­get co­ve­red through pro­per­ty taxes, go­vern­ment grants and other sources of re­ve­nue for the town­ship amounts to about $28 mil­lion. About $16.7 mil­lion of that goes to­wards day-to-day ope­ra­tions. The re­mai­ning $8 mil­lion makes up the 2017 ca­pi­tal works bud­get and both Le­duc and Fi­nance Di­rec­tor Ri­chard Go­din told coun­cil that the 2017 tax in­crease was going to­wards the ca­pi­tal works por­tion of the bud­get.

“I think tax­payers will re­ceive va­lue for their mo­ney,|” said Le­duc, “with the (bud­get) in­crease going in­to ca­pi­tal pro­jects and not more ope­ra­tio­nal ex­penses.”

“I think it (1.5 per cent in­crease) is quite rea­so­nable,” said Mayor Pierre Le­roux as he and other coun­cil mem­bers congra­tu­la­ted ad­mi­nis­tra­tion on its bud­get draft re­port.

“Con­gra­tu­la­tions on a rea­lis­tic bud­get draft,” said Coun. Ja­mie Lau­rin, as­king whe­ther it would be pos­sible to re­duce the amount of time nee­ded next week for the draft bud­get re­view if coun­cil­lors had no ma­jor ob­jec­tions to any of the line-by-line ex­pense and re­ve­nue items lis­ted in the do­cu­ment.

For the ave­rage ho­meow­ner in Rus­sell Town­ship with a house and lot va­lued at $316,000, the pro­po­sed bud­get, if ap­pro­ved, will mean a $44 in­crease on the tax bill next year.

Re­si­dents in­ter­es­ted in lear­ning more de­tails about ser­vice and pro­gram ex­penses and ca­pi­tal works plans in­clu­ded in the 2017 bud­get can at­tend the two-day pu­blic re­view ses­sion Oct. 13 and 14 at the mu­ni­ci­pal of­fice in Em­brun.

—photo Gregg Chamberlain

Une ébauche de bud­get pré­sen­té au conseil mu­ni­ci­pal de Rus­sell lun­di soir der­nier pré­voit une aug­men­ta­tion de 1,5 % pour 2017

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