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Staff gets direction on paring budget

Municipal staff received direction on how to trim $13.9 million from the budget yesterday.

Municipal staff received direction on how to trim $13.9 million from the budget yesterday. Council spent most of the second day of budget briefings in private.

When they emerged after three hours, they directed staff to provide options on increasing the property tax rate, cut services by at least $3 million and look at different ways to save money in service delivery.

“What we’re looking for is a zero rate increase and that’s the nuts and bolts. The other options we put in there are just to allow for some flexibility,” Coun. Steve Adams said after the meeting.

He said council is looking to see how they can balance the books without raising property taxes.

“But increasing it would be CPI (Consumer Price Index),” he said.

On Monday, Coun. Jackie Barkhouse suggested staff may be too management heavy and Mayor Peter Kelly said those concerns could be raised in a private meeting.

Yesterday, Adams’ motion suggested they look at options in staffing.

“Alternate service delivery, which would include, but not be limited to, contracting out,” Adams said.

“There’s no specific department, it’s just looking at options.”

Staff will return with a report outlining these options in January.

 
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