Municipal budgeting

Lake Country staff and politicians are hitting the financial books.

Lake Country staff and politicians are hitting the financial books.

On Tuesday, council approved the schedule for the 2012 budget process.

“We want to have a clear indication of what will be done in the year and how to pay for it,” said Coun. Noreen Guenther.

The 2011 financial plan included a 3.9 per cent tax increase, but it’s not known how much taxes may climb next year.

Guenther admits the municipality continues to face challenges in terms of generating revenue and providing services.

“We are working our way out of the economic slump we’ve seen but we still need to be cautious about what we take on,” she said.

The budget process will begin Oct. 11 with a review of the district’s corporate business plan. That will be followed by several other meetings, and then the expected final presentation to council and public input Jan. 31.

It’s anticipated council would consider adoption of the 2012 budget by May 8 at the latest.

One possible challenge is there is a civic election in November and some current council members may not serve another term and there may be new faces at the table.

Guenther insists current council will not tie the hands of the new elected officials over the budget.

“Staff and council is making provisions so the new council will have ample say in the budget,” she said.

“They will be able to put their own stamp on things.”

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