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Thursday’s discussion of budget proposals deferred to March 14

UPDATE: Thursday’s discussion of Proposals highlighted in a report from Prince Edward County’s Chief Administrative Officer and Commissioners have been deferred to March 14. Click here for suggested motions for consideration.

Nothing’s been decided and everything’s on the table for 2012 budget

Bloomfield Town Hall was standing room only Tuesday night as Prince Edward County councillors hosted a Budget Concerns Town Hall meeting.
Councillors from Picton, Hallowell, Bloomfield and Wellington wards jointly hosted the meeting to discuss the 2012 budget currently being considered by council. Mayor Mertens, CAO Merlin Dewing and Treasurer James Hepburn were also in attendance.
The budget as it stands – larger on day three of discussions than on day one – was explained and the mayor declared the reality of the situation.
“We have some serious issues and the fact of the matter is we don’t have enough income to pay for what we want to do,” said Mertens. “The numbers you’re looking at are not acceptable to anyone, but the reality is it’s one way or the other. If you want the services, then you’re going to have to pay the price. This is what we’re trying to find out – and nothing has been decided. These are only a few services, there’s a whole lot more and everything’s on the table for discussion.”
Questions and comments from the floor followed.
“Council needs to look at the ability to pay and the general state of the economy,” an audience member said. “There are a lot of people in the county who just can’t afford to pay these taxes.”
Knowing there will be council discussion about proposals for fewer fire halls, libraries and town halls, the audience directed questions on those subjects, assessment rates and the value of preserving the County’s arts, culture and heritage.
Another audience member commented on how the questions are posed.
“In many instances, we’re finding out what people do and don’t want, but how these services are delivered, how efficient are the services delivered is what we should be looking at. It seems to me people are being asked what’s good and what’s bad but there’s a strong sense that consolidation and integration of county services has not been done well enough.”
Councillors Robert Quaiff, Barb Proctor and Jamie Forrester also hosted a meeting Tuesday at 7pm at the North Marysburgh Hall. CAO Dewing, Mayor Mertens and Commissioner of Corporate Services Susan Turnbull were in attendance.
Council’s next budget meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 22 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Shire Hall. The agenda includes presentations by external agencies, those requesting grants and public deputations expected to being at about 3 p.m.
Thursday’s discussion of Proposals highlighted in a report from Prince Edward County’s Chief Administrative Officer and Commissioners have been deferred to March 14. Click here for suggested motions for consideration.

Review of draft two of the capital budget, forecast and operating budget is to begin Wednesday, March 21. The budget is expected to be approved in April.

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  1. Treat says:

    People at the budget meeting I attended in Waupoos last night asked for more detailed information on the County’s finances. This morning the County published financial statements from 1998 to present on its web site. See http://www.countylive.ca/?p=22914

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