Cobourg’s budget setting starts with each department providing a requested budget (wish list?) and six of them provided these on Thursday 21 November. It would be probably unrealistic to expect that they would all initially come in at the targeted 1.9% increase and in that respect there were no surprises. Budget chief Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin chaired the meeting and commented that the average was 10-12%. In mid September, Citizens were given a chance to provide input on the budget but there was no noticeable impact of these (see link below). The Departments (or Divisions) submitting at this meeting were: Cobourg Library; Art Gallery of Northumberland; Planning and Development; General Government Services; Economic Development and Venture 13. The others will have their turn on November 26 and 28. An initial Draft budget is scheduled for release on December 13 with a final review on January 9 and approval on Feb 3.
- So far the Provincial Government has reduced subsidies by $50K/year and another $30K/year is expected
- The Library also serves Hamilton Township but the budget request was for the Cobourg allocation
- Library CEO Tammy Robinson said that an MOU needs to be written to define who is responsible for what.
- The amount requested from Cobourg was $899.7K, an increase of 3.2% – Suzanne said that this needs to be 1.9%
Art Gallery of Northumberland (AGN)
- The total budget planned for 2020 is $395K with $250K coming from the Town – that’s an increase of 22% from the 2019 budget of $205K.
- The town gets back $45K in rent and also gets paid $9K for security
- The AGN wants to increase the hours of operation to include one evening
- Suzanne suggested that the request should be closer to $160K. Perhaps she forgot the decision made in March 2019 that the amount for 2020 should be $250K.
Planning and Residential
This Division was previously called Planning and Development – it includes Planning, Heritage and Committee of Adjustment.
- Director Glenn McGlashon is requesting an additional planner. Current staff consists of Glenn, Rob Franklin, Desta McAdam, Dave Johnson and Adriane Miller but work load is heavy.
- Revenue is expected to increase to $120K from the 2019 budget of $85K
- The net budget requested was $528.5K for an increase of $72K or 15.9%.
- The increase is due to the new person and the $40K for the Heritage Conservation Study at $40K. Without these, there would be a 3.6% decrease.
- The ongoing project to develop a Downtown CIP is funded with $75K from Holdco but Suzanne suggested that perhaps that could be put on hold for 2020 and the money instead allocated to the Affordable Housing CIP. Discussion revealed that this CIP would be expanded to include “sustainability, brownfield and accessibility”.
This consists of seven departments: Information Technology, Human Resources, Finance, Clerks Department, Communications, Council and Victoria Hall. Acting CAO and Treasurer Ian Davey presented most of these budgets.
- Council – 1.2% lower at $369K but Salary increases were not added since they were to be subject to budget approval.
- Admin CAO – 1.8% increase to $254K
- Communications – 27% increase to $266K – this is mostly due to a new person for a full year versus 6 months in 2019
- Clerks Dept – expenses 5.6% increase to $490K; revenue increase 1% to $179.5K
- Finance (Admin) – 6.5% increase to $704K
- Information Technology – 7.2% increase to $342K
- Victoria Hall – 6% increase to $727K
- Financial (Other) – 22% decrease to $112K
- Human Resources (Personnel) – 42% increase to $543K – mostly due to a Special Project: Non-Union Job Evaluation/Pay Equity Plan at $175K. Without that, it would have a 3.7% decrease.
- Health and Safety – flat at $12,850
- An estimate of the overall requested increase for General Government is a 9.5% increase for a total in 2020 of $3.64M
- The replacement of Economic Development Officer (Wendy Gibson) has not yet been resolved but the budget request assumes the position will be filled.
- An increase of 36% is requested for a total of $313K
- An increase of 13% to a total of $223K
Some departments also made Capital requests – see the full agenda package in the link below.
- Public Works
- Environmental Services
- Protection Services – Fire Department
- Community Services
- Protection Services – Police Services
- Few Citizen inputs to Town’s 2020 Budget – 17 September 2019
- Full Agenda Package for this meeting
- Budget Schedule here