Municipal Budget and how the Town should spend their tax dollars in 2024. Residents are invited to attend Coffee with Council, November 8th. A virtual session will be held from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and an in-person session from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Community Rooms B & C, Library & Municipal Offices, 55 Ste. Marie Street.
Each year municipalities are faced with the challenge of creating a balanced budget. A municipality can take on debt to pay for large capital acquisitions, however it must ensure that there is enough money to fund day-to-day operations. To balance the budget, a careful analysis must be done regarding the level of services required to meet the expectations of the community and the realistic taxation and user fee levels.
Draft #1 of the 2024 Budget was presented to Committee of the Whole on October 16, 2023. Following Council’s direction of a 2% guideline, Staff worked hard to meet this guideline, given ongoing inflation in both the operational and capital programs as well as the pressure of ensuring that the Town continues to provide the programs and services at a level that is expected from our residents and businesses. The 2% base budget includes inflationary items, extremely urgent items, and other items that are difficult to avoid. In addition, staff reviewed all service enhancement requests that would be above the base budget and ranked a list of priorities for Council to consider.
The Town is moving towards a service-based budget approach which shows the work that staff does and what the Town, through Council direction, is trying to carry out. There are many benefits to this approach including:
- Having a clear understanding of what the current resources (human and financial) are delivering and to what level of service;
- Setting out and defining who can make what decisions;
- Allocating the resources effectively;
- Creating a framework to enable the creation and improvement of performance measures;
- Identifying best practices and efficiencies;
- Ensuring that there is not a duplication of efforts and that the efforts are being conducted by the appropriate resources; and
- Being the framework for risk management analysis.
The Budget is one of the most important matters your elected Council will decide, and your input is paramount to ensuring Council is aware of what is most important to residents and property owners in how their tax dollars are spent. The goal of a good budget is to run the municipality well, including professional staff to provide recommendations and advise to Council to set the Town on the right path forward for the future.
There will be multiple opportunities for the public to provide input including the opportunity to speak at all Committee of the Whole meetings and Coffee with Council sessions which offer a more casual atmosphere that encourages dialogue. Residents are also welcomed to provide feedback in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping off a letter at Town Hall, 97 Hurontario Street.
Property owners and residents of the Town of Collingwood are invited to view the 2024 Budget timeline and the drafts of the Budget at: https://engage.collingwood.ca/2024-municipal-budget.
To be notified of Council and Committee meetings and their content, subscribe to receive notice right to your inbox at: https://collingwood.civicweb.net/Portal/Subscribe.aspx