By Barb McKay
Kincardine staff has set an ambitious timetable for the 2015 municipal budget process.
Treasurer Roxana Baumann presented the schedule to Kincardine council during its meeting last Wednesday. Baumann said other municipalities are setting more aggressive schedules to complete their budgets for the coming year.
Senior managers will meet July 4 to begin the budget process and are expected to deliver capital budgets for their departments to the treasurer by Aug. 8. Managers will meet once again on Aug. 15 to discuss operating budgets and will return those budgets to Baumann by Sept. 12.
Amendments to the budgets will be made between October and November and Baumann has suggested that a special council meeting be held Nov. 17 to present the draft budget for 2015. Any revisions to the budget by council would be dealt with by staff and a second draft budget would be presented to council on Dec. 8. The final budget is expected to be adopted in January 2015, well ahead of the municipality’s typical spring timeline.
Councillor Randy Roppel said he is concerned about having special budget meetings when the municipal election will be held Oct. 27 and the new council won’t take office until Dec. 1. He added that it might make sense to put council business on hold until after Dec. 1.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said there are a number of items that come up that staff need council concurrence, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to suspend council.
Councillor Guy Anderson praised the treasury department for putting forward an earlier timetable. He said there may be returning councillors who could provide guidance to new members.
“It’s a good way to lead into the next council to give them a good footnote in,” councillor Mike Leggett agreed.
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said adopting the 2015 budget early in the year would make it easier to get tenders out, particularly for public works projects.