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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  News Central Elgin 2020 Preliminary Budget Talks


by Doug Harvey
Central Elgin 2020 Preliminary Budget Talks

The Municipality of Central Elgin has started it's annual initial budget planning talks on Monday, December 2nd, 2019 at 450 Sunset Drive in the Elgin County Administration Building. At the start Mr. Leitch commented that the intent for today was to give Council a walkthrough of the proposed 2020 budget. It's a work in progress with information still being added to the budget. We wanted some feedback from Council on the format of the budget going electronic, an initiative from the Environmental Advisory Committee trying to cut down on paper if Council's agreeable.

Ramona Nordemann - Central Elgin's Director of Finance and Treasurer began the meeting introducing Council to the new paperless xl file format accessible by computer. This year it took a little longer to get into the finer details of the budget because of a format change to paperless, but in this day and age going paperless is one of those better ideas that for this process will save several boxes of paper.

Once Council began prioritizing projects, programs and service levels based on anticipated revenue and expenses, it became clear that this year the struggle to keep tax increases to a minimum would be more difficult job than in previous years mostly due to previous commitments for improvements on existing infrastructure.

Perhaps one of the most significant increases that will take place sooner or later for residents of Central Elgin would be the water meter upgrade, a project in the water budget that has an estimated cost of $1,500,000. According to Lloyd Perrin - Director of Asset Management/Development and Facility Services, the old water meters overtime produce anywhere from a 5% to 20% less accurate metered consumption reading that results in a significant revenue loss for Central Elgin. These water meter upgrades were recommended in the recent water rates study and are due to be replaced. When these water meters do get replaced, a new round of water and sewage rate increases that could take place might be offset by a phrase-in adjustment period to help consumers adjust to increases in actual water consumption used.

Because this was an introduction to this years budget and this process is still on-going, all projected spending was just being discussed and prioritized to give a baseline to the Finance Department as to what could be in the first round of 2020 Budget deliberations scheduled for January 26, 2020.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 03 December 2019 13:37:04 PM EST

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