TWO PER CENT RAISE IN DAYCARE FEES IN CLA­RENCE-ROCKLAND

Vision (Canada) - - Actualités ● News - ALEXIA MARSILLO alexia.marsillo@eap.on.ca

Daycare fees in Cla­rence-Rockland will be going up by two per cent, star­ting Ju­ly 1, 2018.

The two-per-cent in­crease was pas­sed du­ring the last mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cil mee­ting, held on Tues­day, April 17. Rai­sing the daycare fees has been an on­going dis­cus­sion wi­thin mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cil since mid-Fe­brua­ry of this year. A hike in daycare fees was dee­med ne­ces­sa­ry to re­solve a de­fi­cit in the bud­get. Wi­thout a raise in these fees, 2018 bud­get is not ba­lan­ced.

The two-per-cent raise, ho­we­ver, does not ful­ly balance the bud­get. Af­ter the raise in daycare fees, there is still a de­fi­cit of ap­proxi­ma­te­ly $ 190 000. This is down from the ori­gi­nal de­fi­cit of al­most $ 233 000. Ra­ther than re­solve that dif­fe­rence by in­crea­sing the tax rate, coun­cil has op­ted to make cuts el­sew­here in the 2018 bud­get.

An ap­proxi­mate 11-per-cent in­crease in daycare fees was ini­tial­ly pro­po­sed, but was re­jec­ted by coun­cil at the March 21 mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cil mee­ting. All coun­cil­lors agreed this was too steep of an in­crease. Coun­cil then as­ked for the ad­mi­nis­tra­tion to come up with other op­tions to solve the un­ba­lan­ced bud­get, with less of an in­crease to daycare fees.

A group of lo­cal mo­thers ad­dres­sed coun­cil du­ring the la­test mee­ting to em­pha­size that an 11-per-cent in­crease would be un­rea­so­nable. “It is too fast, and too big of an in­crease in a short time frame,” said one mo­ther. “I un­ders­tand there is a de­fi­cit and that you have to do so­me­thing about that, but I speak on be­half of ma­ny pa­rents.”

The vote to pass the two-per-cent in­crease, ho­we­ver, was not una­ni­mous. Ma­ny coun­cil­lors were concer­ned with where the Ci­ty would find the mo­ney to co­ver the de­fi­cit, wi­thout ha­ving to raise taxes. All coun­cil­lors agreed that this was not a viable op­tion.

Mayor Guy Des­jar­dins had pro­po­sed a five-per-cent daycare fee raise, which would have brought the de­fi­cit to ap­proxi­ma­te­ly $ 106 000 ins­tead. Coun­cil­lors Krys­ta Si­mard and Jean-Marc La­londe, on the other hand, were in fa­vour of ab­sor­bing the de­fi­cit and not rai­sing the daycare fees at all. Coun­cil­lor Ma­rio Zanth pro­po­sed the com­pro­mise that would even­tual­ly be adop­ted: a two-percent in­crease with a re­mai­ning de­fi­cit of $ 190 000.

The work, ho­we­ver, is not over. The ad­mi­nis­tra­tion must now re­turn to coun­cil with pro­po­sed bud­get cuts to eli­mi­nate this de­fi­cit and balance the bud­get. More spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, Ci­ty staff will be loo­king in­to re­du­cing the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty’s contri­bu­tions to its re­serve fund and ca­pi­tal pro­jects in the

A hike in daycare fees was dee­med ne­ces­sa­ry to re­solve a de­fi­cit in the bud­get. The two-per-cent raise, ho­we­ver, does not ful­ly balance the bud­get.

—pho­to four­nie

Les frais de gar­de­rie à Cla­rence-Rockland aug­men­te­ront de 2 % à comp­ter du 1er juillet 2018. Cette aug­men­ta­tion a été ap­prou­vée lors de la der­nière réunion du conseil mu­ni­ci­pal, le 17 avril. Une hausse des frais de gar­de­rie a été ju­gée né­ces­saire pour...

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