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C-R council restores library funding in budget
GREGG CHAMBERLAIN email@example.com
An 11th-hour decision by Clarence- Rockland city council has removed any worries for public library staff about pos- sible cuts to service or programs, next year. Council approved the 2017 municipal budget during a special session, Dec. 5. But not until a brisk discussion at almost the last minute when Councillor Yvon Simoneau put the issue of next year’s funding allocation for the Clarence-Rockland Public Library back on the discussion table. Simoneau argued that council and staff should be able to get “creative” in finding ways to restore $20,000, cut from the original 2017 budget allocation for the public library. Councillor Mario Zanth also argued in favour of restoring the money. “I find it hard to understand that we can- not risk-manage $20,000,” Zanth said. Finance Director Robert Kehoe told council that it is possible to put back the
Le conseil municipal de Clarence-Rockland a apporté une modification de dernière minute au plan budgétaire de 2017 visant à rétablir l’aide financière entière à la bibliothèque publique. —photo Gregg Chamberlain
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allocation. Both Kehoe and Mayor Guy Desjardins also noted that the council could reduce the amount of money planned for the “pay as we go” fund set up in the budget to help deal with capital and operation expenses over the next year.The fund is meant to aid the asset management plan and also assist in dealing with surprise cost situations without the city resorting to borrowing. Mayor Desjardins and the rest of council agreed that if money for the library was taken from the “pay as we go” fund, then council and staff would be able to consider restoring any or all of the money to the fund as part of next year’s quarterly reviews of the 2017 budget expenditures. Council gave unanimous approval to a final revised budget which includes restoring $20,000 to the public library’s allocation. Catherina Rouse, public library chief exe- cutive officer, expressed her gratitude at the decision.
$20,000 taken from the library’s original budget allocation. What he and the rest of staff need is clear direction from council to do so and how council wants it done. “It can be shared among the (other) de- partments,” Kehoe said, adding that other departments could lose a little bit from each of their projects or programs listed in the 2017 budget to restore the library’s full
Correction L’article portant sur le budget de Clarence- Rockland publié en page 3 la semaine dernière contenait deux erreurss. La projection des prélèvements municipaux vise une augmentation de 3,26 %, et non de 3,26 M$, tel qu’écrit dans le texte. L’augmentation finale du taux d’imposition de 6,75 % est également inexacte. Nous nous en excusons. - Gregg Chamberlain Right now Daigneault cannot say whe- ther or not township residents will see any increase to their property taxes as a result of the municipal budget plan for next year. Both council and staff are still trying to find ways to keep costs down for next year while still maintaining programs and ser- vices. “Council has expressed a wish to have a budget with a maximal increase of two per cent,” he said. “It’s nice to know people understand the value of a library,” she said. “It’s good for everybody,” said Mayor Desjardins, during an interview following the council session. “It’s a good library, and they’ve done a lot of good work.” The 2017municipal budget includes $31.8 million for operating costs and a $14.3 mil- lion capital works allocation. The expected tax increase is 2.45 per cent. The actual figure on tax bills for indi- vidual property owners will also depend on whether or not their assessed value has increased, decreased, or stayed the same according to the Municipal Provincial As- sessment Corp (MPAC). The budget includes separate allocations of $3.2million for municipal water services, $2.2 million for sewer services, and $2.4 million for waste disposal services. Costs for these programs, including capital works loans, are paid for through user fees, and not as part of the property tax levy.
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GREGG CHAMBERLAIN email@example.com AP Township budget still under review “We hope for council to approve the 2017 budget before the end of the year,” Daigneault said during a Dec. 2 interview, “or early 2017.”
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The hope is to get it finished before the end of the year, but Alfred-Plantagenet Township’s 2017 municipal budget may end up waiting until early January before it gets final approval. Chief Administrator Marc Daigneault reported that the draft budget is still going through review by township staff and council. Another review-and-discussion
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À l’heure actuelle, le DG Marc Daigneault n’est pas en mesure de dire si les contribuables d’Alfred-Plantagenet verront ou non une augmentation sur leur facture d’impôts fonciers.
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meeting is scheduled for mid-December and the hope is to have a final budget plan ready for approval soon after.
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