By Cole Parkinson
With 2018 having come to an end, Vauxhall town council was presented with an interim budget.
During council’s regular meeting on Dec. 17, council was presented with a recommendation to approve a 2019 interim budget based on 50 per cent of the value of the 2018 approved operating budget.
With the Municipal Government Act allowing municipalities to approve an interim operating budget for part of the year, that has been the tradition for Vauxhall councils in the past.
Even though it has been the Town of Vauxhall’s process in the past, a question was raised around passing the budget before the end of the year.
“It makes it difficult for organizations early in the year who are looking for funding to budget. Would it be possible in the future to have these budgets in place by the end of December? Most municipalities do and I understand that until we get the requisitions from the school authority, nothing is finalized and changes can be made. I still think we have some responsibility, even to our staff, because how do they deal with current operations and plan for that if they don’t know where the funds are,” said Coun. Ray Coad.
Administration highlighted they could change the way they do budgets moving forward if that was what council wanted to do.
“I’ve heard of that before, it is the best practice. It’s just historically, Vauxhall has done it this way, that doesn’t mean we can’t change,” said CAO Cris Burns.
While council wouldn’t be able to make that change this time around as they needed to have something in place moving into 2019, council seemed responsive to discussing the change more in the future.
With budgets usually passed around March, Coad also touched on the fact some organizations would be seeking funding right at the beginning of the year but wouldn’t make that cut.
“That is three months down the road for organizations that could have submitted a request. It also delays our planning for capital projects because we don’t know where funds are coming from. The province is asking us to adopt a three-year operating budget anyways,” he said.
A motion was made to approve the 2019 interim budget based on 50 per cent of the value of the 2018 approved operating budget and was passed unanimously.