By Cecilia Nasmith
The Town of Cobourg is planning a series of open meetings in February, leading up to the preparation of its 2019 municipal and operating budgets.
As far as increases this year go, the town's press release has announced a 1.5% tax-levy target. Councillors are asking municipal staff not to exceed 2% for all service-delivery components within all town departments.
“The council is committed to finding efficiencies within the budget process, while also creating further transparency by opening up all budget meetings to the public,” Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin stated in the news release.
“Our ultimate goal is to align the Town of Cobourg's budget process, business plans, asset-management plans and council's strategic plans.”
All meetings will be held in the council chambers, located on the third floor east at Victoria Hall (55 King St. W.), and each February meeting has a specific focus. On each occasion, division directors and managers will offer an update on potential capital projects, special one-time projects and anticipated requests for staffing-level changes through 2022. There will be no delegations at these meetings.
On Feb. 5 at 4 p.m., departments of focus will be planning-and-development, general government, and economic development.
On Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. the meeting will concern the Cobourg Police Service.
On Feb. 20 at 2 p.m., public-works and environmental services will present.
On Feb. 21 at 4 p.m., community services is the focus.
On Feb. 28 at 4 p.m., the meeting includes protection services (such as the fire department) and the Cobourg Public Library.
On March 7, a draft budget will be released for public review and comment, leading up to the March 14 special council budget session that runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (and possibly beyond).
Final council approval will take place at the regular council meeting scheduled for March 18 (or possibly April 8) at 4 p.m., pending the outcome of the February meetings – and the time required to make changes and allow time for citizens to have an opportunity for comment.
For more information on the 2019 municipal operating and capital budget, visit www.cobourg.ca.