UCPR aims to have 2013 budget passed and approved by November
Last year, the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) had its budget approved and passed by November and this year won't be any different.
Chief administrative officer (CAO) Stéphane Parisien gave regional mayors an overview of the 2013 budget at the October committee of the whole meeting.
Parisien told The Review he wants to make a habit of getting the budget approved and passed as early as possible.
"It only benefits us in the long run," he commented. "The earlier we get this done, the better. We get better prices when he tender for projects because the budget is passed early and I think council likes to get it done and over with. It's a win-win for all of us."
Last year marked the first time in UCPR council's history that the budget was approved and passed before spring.
"We did it once and we can do it again," Parisien said. "This is the way we will do things from now on."
At the committee of the whole meeting, Parisien gave mayors their budget binders and said he plans to make a full budget presentation in the next two weeks.
"Usually, we talk about the budget and then mayors get to see the binder," Parisien explained. "This time, we gave them the binder so they could have time to look at it, think about it and then hear the presentation."
When asked what Budget 2013 holds in store for taxpayers, Parisien said as it stands now, administration is proposing a 1.5 per cent increase in the notional tax rate.
"Keep in mind this is all preliminary, nothing is set in stone," he said.
Parisien said council is looking at a total budget of around $80 million in 2013, which has decreased from previous years because the province has uploaded the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
When it comes to reserve funds, administration is anticipating the UCPR will have a reserve fund balance of nearly $14 million by December 31, 2013. The UCPR is planning to use approximately $2.9 million from the reserve fund in 2013.
Preliminary estimates show the UCPR will spend about $15.9 million on roads in 2013; $32.7 million on social services; $12.6 million on emergency services; $14.5 million on the Prescott-Russell Residence and $4 million on finance, to name a few.
Please stay tuned to The Review for more on the 2013 budget.