Day 2 of Brooks Budget Deliberations

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City Council completed their 2018 budget deliberations yesterday. Here is what business needs to know about the municipal budget from day two.

That’s All Folks! Were you thinking of popping in to observe the last scheduled day of deliberations? A quick heads-up that deliberations ended mid-afternoon on Tuesday as Council got through their budget and decision packages without needing the time set aside on Friday.

So, what happened Tuesday?

Council was asked to consider a wide-range of budget pressures and in many cases council and staff should be applauded for finding innovative and cost-effective solutions to what could have be very expensive budget items. For example:

-         Instead of purchasing new computer servers, council accepted staff’s recommendation to extend the existing servers warranty for a year at a fraction of the cost.

-         Instead of buying a new grader or garbage trucks, council accepted staff’s recommendations of refurbishing existing assets at a fraction of the cost.

-         Taking a common-sense approach to replacement of assets that, n paper may be close to the end of their useful life, were still functional and safe. Key examples here are resisting the urge to purchase new basketball nets at the JBS Center and re-roofing the curling rink.  

There were also some line-items that are bound to be more controversial. Council is considering designing and building an expensive new self-cleaning public toilet, granting a large contract to help get parks up-and-running each year and buying new computers for city staff. They are also pondering whether to defer (or spreading out) repairs to capital assets like exterior repairs to the old firehall and replacing rotten windows causing mold in the Prairie Pioneer’s building (aka the old library).

Regardless of where folks sit on these issues, the Chamber applauds City Staff and Council for making the budget process open to the press and public.

The proposed budget will be posted online in early January. The Chamber will make a submission to Council based on feedback from our members. More details to come early in the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

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Posted on:
Wednesday, December 20, 2017