“I’m just looking for an interim operating budget approval of 50 per cent of the value of the 2013 approved budget, until such time as we go through budget discussions and it gets approved, then this would be no longer in effect,” said CAO Barb Miller, prior to the vote.
Responding to an inquiry on the usual timing of the annual operating and capital budgets by Coun. Richard Phillips, Miller pointed out Vauxhall’s town budget is often significantly impacted by provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, announced annually in the provincial budget.
“We are highly dependent on MSI funding, so often it doesn’t get finalized until the provincial budget comes down, and then we find out what our MSI funding is.”
Section 242 of the Municipal Government Act requires town council to adopt an operating budget for each calendar year, but also allows for council to approve an interim operating budget for part of the year, which ceases to have effect once the operating budget for the year is adopted.
An interim operating budget is based on 50 per cent of the value of the 2013 approved operating budget.
“I have the budget for the most part drafted, but I can’t present it, because it’s too ugly at the moment,” said Miller.
“So we’re back to the drawing board, chopping and chopping, but at some point it will come and I can’t chop anymore, and then council will go through it, and we’ll have to sit. We had $250,000 in MSI operating funds come to us last year, and I don’t know what we’re going to get this year — that was a surprise last year. This budget is going to be a challenging budget — I’m challenged trying to bring something to you guys that I can present.”
The motion was passed unanimously by town council.