By Brian Coggins
New Portfolios Announced
One of the first resolutions to come forward to the new Council was the allocation of the portfolios:
Les Andrews is the new Deputy Mayor - he was elected to the position by Council at their December 4th Inaugural meeting - and will fill the new portfolio of Community Development (Planning, Marketing and Tourism and Community Development)
John Bickle will chair the Fire and Emergency Services portfolio
Laurie Carr will chair the Finance portfolio
Jeff Lees will chair the Corporate Services portfolio
Wendy Meadows will chair the Parks, Recreation, and Culture portfolio
Vicki Mink will chair the Works and Engineering portfolio
Council Approves the Rural LLRW Fund Distribution
Council approved that the annual net increase in the value of the Rural LLRW Fund will be applied as follows:
80% will be applied to reduce the annual Rural Area tax levy
20% will be left in the fund to generate future additional earnings.
Other Items of Interest
Council approved an updated Camera/Video Surveillance Policy which makes the written meeting minutes the official record and that any video recordings of Council, Committee of the Whole, and Budget Committee will only be retained for six months.
Council approved the new Council Remuneration Policy previously brought forward by staff at the Budget Committee Review of the 2019 Budget. Effective January 1, 2019 the Mayor will receive $55,100 annually, the Deputy Mayor $28,900, and Councillors $22,250.
Council authorized Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to prepare the 2019 Development Charge Background Study and to prepare a Water and Wastewater Rate Study to be completed in 2019. This was discussed at length during the Budget deliberations and the review schedule is set by the province.
Council officially endorsed the Municipality's commitment to the Community Care Northumberland Hospice in the amount of $200,00 to be paid out over four years.
Council approved a change to the allocation of the Parking Surplus. The previous allocation was split between the Accessibility Reserve, the Beautificaton Reserve if it had fallen below the $50,000 threshold, and the Parking Reserve. The new allocation approved by Council is that the total net parking surplus beginning in 2019 is to be transferred to the Parking Reserve to assist with the maintenance and replacement of parking lot infrastructure.
Council approved the Police Services 2019 Budget of $5,397,714 - which includes Capital and Operating. The policing budget is set by the Police Services Boards under the Police Services Act-Section 39 which establishes that Council has only minimal control of what is included in the Operating and Capital Budget of the Service. This is now added to the annual Municipal Budget to arrive at the final Levy amount.
Council adopted the 2019 Operating and Capital Budget with a tax levy of $19, 573,711 an increase of 1.97% over the approved 2018 Budgets. Council's approval will be finalized at the January, 15th Council Meeting.