“Almost perfect” budget report pleases council
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.
Une ébauche de budget présenté au conseil municipal de Russell lundi soir dernier prévoit une augmentation de 1,5 % pour 2017