Lake Country budget talks underway at municipal council

More meetings coming next week as Lake Country looks to the future

The balancing act between taxes and meeting public demands is underway in Lake Country.

There have already been some discussions about the 2014 budget and further meetings are scheduled next week.

“We still have lots to do and not enough money,” said Mayor James Baker.

“There are services that need to be delivered. We have to work on the infrastructure deficit.”

At this point, there is no sense of a potential tax increase.

“We haven’t got that far yet,” said Coun. Lisa Cameron.

The budget process comes at the same time that the district is establishing a long-term transportation plan.

“That has significant budget implications,” said Cameron of roads, sidewalks and bicycle paths.

“Do we want to bite a chunk of it off now or none of it?”

Lake Country staff is recommending an average of $250 per year per household ($50 per $100,000 assessed value) beginning next year to begin replacing roads.

Another major challenge is downloading of responsibilities from federal and provincial governments on to municipalities.

“Someone has to look after the social aspect (of the community),” said Baker.

Cameron is pleased to see budget talks begin.

“We want to start getting numbers earlier because this council was having to cram meetings into February to get the budget done in time,” she said.