Lord Mayor Betty Disero has reviewed the many motions made during budget discussions at the last two Town meetings, and with CAO Holly Dowd has come up with information to be presented to council in January for the 2019 budget, as well as over the following weeks and months for future budget deliberations.
The motions were intended to keep the 2019 budget, which is expected to be approved in February, to a maximum 4.5 per cent increase, including showing impacts, revenue opportunities and risks, says Town staff’s recent information report.
The motions included Increasing parking rates by 25 cents per hour and increasing bus parking rates to$70 an hour, to be considered and voted on in January.
Also user fees will be recommended on a cost recovery basis for sign, fence and property standards appeals to council, also for January, to be considered as revenue for the 2019 budget.
At the next operating budget session, if possible, Town staff have been asked to rework the 2018 column using the best estimate for the year ending Dec. 31 and rework the 2019 line item budget using a review of 2016 and 2017 actuals and estimates from 2018, the information report says, as well as providing an analysis on the feasibility of using accrual accounting
practises for the management and reporting of property taxes in the 2018 and future operating budgets.
Two open house sessions will be held in January to receive input from
residents regarding the 2019 budget an a Join the Conversation
page has been started for resident dialogue.
Groups such as the Niagara District Airport Commission, the Historical Society, Niagara College, the public library and chamber of commerce, all requesting funding be included in the 2019 budget, are being invited to the Jan. 14 council meeting to present financial information about their organizations.
Other requests for information made by councillors in December will be met in the coming weeks and months, the report said.
In the next few weeks, staff reports are expected on the price of diesel fuel paid by the Town, the state of the Queenston Fire Hall, and a projection of Town salaries until 2021.
6. that staff identify non-recurring expenses in the 2018 Actuals (ie Property Purchases, Settlements, or any other large expenses). These be assigned to the appropriate reserve before the 2019 consideration.
Over the next few months, staff have been asked to prepare an analysis of all Town contracts, far market rent for the Court House and rent paid by tenants, cost of leases versus purchase of Town vehicles, and the estimated costs associated with the assumptions of subdivisions.