Montrose Council – CAO introduces budget – in spite of hockey game

With the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Nelson Maple Leafs deadlocked at two games a piece, the priority for Montrose Mayor Griff Welsh was to sprint through the village council agenda Monday and get to the game, but not before the administrator was able to squeeze in the first draft of the annual budget.

The 2011 budget shows Montrose taxes going up almost four per cent this year, increasing tax revenue from $402,000 last year to $418,000. 

“If you own a house that’s worth $200,000, the total additional taxation would be $32.40,” said administrator Kevin Chartres.

However, general government expenses will decrease by almost 23 per cent as a result of a $120,000 transfer of funds from sewer and water to the general fund, in addition to a reduction in sick leave payments and projected legal fees. 

Residential user fees, which cover services like garbage pickup, remain the same as last year while transportation services will go down over 13 per cent. 

The total budget, including tax transfers to other governments, will also decline 15 per cent to $2.2 million due to static reserves, lower water and sewer costs, and fewer capital projects.

A recent audit has changed the way the village keeps track of tangible assets, accounting for amortization and applying more costs to operations and maintenance than capital assets.

Hence, the village will see capital spending decrease by over 50 per cent to about $265,000 due, in large part, to reduced road paving and reallocation of capital costs. 

The major expenditures will be on well replacement and construction ($90,000), engineering ($25,000) and water main replacement ($30,000).

The administrator reiterated that the budget is still in the draft stage but he encouraged council to read and understand it before the community financial plan is tabled next month. 

“The financial plan will be presented for first reading so you’ll need to have the budget fairly set to get started on first reading,” said Chartres.

The mayor accepted the budget and council motioned to receive it without discussion so Welsh could make the hockey game.