In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges faced by all sectors of the community, Council has re-examined the proposed budget in an effort to identify ways to reduce the projected tax increase for 2020. When the proposed operating budget was initially prepared, it provided for an increase of $411,000 in expenditures, and a tax increase equal to 7.6%.
Council undertook a further review of the proposed 2020 budget and made three changes that total a reduction of $155,000, to bring the tax rate increase down to 4.7%.
The three areas impacted by these changes are:
- Council Strategic Initiatives - removed $50,000
- Two vacant positions (finance & planning) - eliminated $50,000
- The 2.2% Consumer Price Index wage increase for staff & Council - eliminated $55,000
“At a time of serious economic downturn, with businesses closed and some people in the community losing their jobs, we see this as a necessary move to reduce the tax impact for our community,” said Mayor Gary Ander, “while ensuring a fair and equal approach for our staff and Council members.”
For the foreseeable future, Municipal staff layoffs are not being considered. Some staff have already and will be redeployed to do other work that is deemed essential, meaning everyone will keep their job through this time of crisis.