le Vendredi 27 janvier 2023
le Mercredi 30 novembre 2022 14:12 Tribune-Express (Hawkesbury)

East Hawkesbury council faces budget challenge

Mayor Robert Kirby (left), Deputy Mayor Jacques Tranchmontagne, and Councillor Karina Sauvé listen to Chief Administrator Luc Lalonde’s presentation of the preliminary report for the East Hawkesbury Township 2023 budget during a special council session November 28. Councillor Monique Desjardins listened to the presentation through a computer link.  — photo Gregg Chamberlain
Mayor Robert Kirby (left), Deputy Mayor Jacques Tranchmontagne, and Councillor Karina Sauvé listen to Chief Administrator Luc Lalonde’s presentation of the preliminary report for the East Hawkesbury Township 2023 budget during a special council session November 28. Councillor Monique Desjardins listened to the presentation through a computer link.
photo Gregg Chamberlain
East Hawkesbury Township council faces its first big challenge of the new mandate with the 2023 budget.

« It is going to be a challenge, » said Luc Lalonde, chief administrator for the township, after finishing his presentation of the preliminary report on the draft budget during a special council session November 28.

Lalonde’s report noted that some sources of revenue for the township are less than in previous years while inflation has affected the projected cost for some municipal expenses. Rising costs for gravel and other paving materials will affect how much roadwork can be included in the 2023 capital projects plan. The cost for heating and lighting of municipal facilities is also expected to increase over the next year.

Right now the preliminary budget report projects a revenue total for the municipality at about $4.5 million compared to a possible expenses total of about $4.8 million. That leaves a deficit of almost $340,000 that council and administration have to deal with to try and achieve a balanced budget.

Provincial regulations do not allow either municipalities or school districts to have budget deficits. Council members had a brief discussion about the possibility of a small tax increase combined with finding cost-savings on some municipal expenses.

Further discussion on how to balance the 2023 budget will be part of the December 12 council session.