2011 Milton Budget

It’s now that time of the year folks.  Town Councillors with bleery eyes trudging through hundreds of pages of documents working on the 2011 budget for the Town of Milton.

You can go to Milton Town Hall and purchase a paper copy (I think its $40 but I’ll try to find out) or you can go to the Milton website and download them for free.

2011 Proposed Budget Documents

The Town Council will be meeting on the 17th and 18th (if necessary) to wade through the hundreds of spending items and we are looking for as much public input as possible.  You can send your comments to me directly at mike@mikecluett.ca

From the Executive Summary (page 9)

The proposed 2011 budget will result in a Town property tax increase of 5.72%, which represents an increase of $45.63 in the urban area and a $36.45 increase in the rural area for a residence assessed at $300,000.00

Remember, this is ONLY the Town portion of your tax bill.  There are other levels of government yet to approve their budgets including the Region of Halton, and the education portion yet to be determined.

I can speak from experience that many of the councillors are going through the budget documents in detail reviewing all spending and see what we can do without, postpone or what we have to pass on to taxpayers.  With the new Arts & Entertainment Centre/Library and the Milton Sports Centre additions coming on -line this year, there are HUGE impacts to the operating budget, and in turn the tax rate for Milton taxpayers.

What I’d like to hear from you is what you think is a priority, what do you think we can postpone or do without in the coming year.  Some of the items we are discussing as options are delaying the opening of the Milton Centre for the Arts, the Central Library, delaying the installation of bike lanes, eliminating the budget for Friday evening and Saturday transit services.  The details of staff recommendations for this increases/decreases can be found in the Operating budget on pages 69-71.  The staff recommendations are looking at the budget increase from 4.86% to a target of 3.03% with options to go lower.

UPDATE:  Here are the links to the Schedule A (Budget Recommendations to reach 3.03%)

Schedule A Page 1

Schedule A Page 2

Schedule A Page 3

This council is committed to listening to taxypayers and we want all the input we can get.  Take some time, review the documents and submit your comments or questions either here on the blog or email and I will get back to you.

6 Replies to “2011 Milton Budget”

  1. Thansk for posting this Mike. Checked around to the other councillor website and theres nothing regarding the budget on their sites/blogs.

    Its good to see someone sticking to their campaign promises. I know its going to be hard keeping the rate of increase near the rate of inflation but do your best!

  2. Hi Mike,
    As long as delaying opening of the Center for the Arts doesn’t impact federal funding (the building just has to be complete, not operational correct?) I actually like the idea of delaying opening of the Center for the Arts, and leaving the Bruce St. library open in the interim. It allows the town the opportunity to phase in the Sports Center in one budget year, and the Center for the Arts in another. What would the net savings be given you’d have some operational costs to maintain and heat/cool the Center for the Arts building in the interim, and carry the costs of operating Bruce Street.

    I’m a cyclist and could also deal with a delay in installation of on-road bike lanes. The roads are there. The lanes add some extra safety but it doesn’t keep me from biking on them.

    I would like to see Saturday transit service implemented. I can’t wait to be able to take the kids on the bus to the farm market!

    Engineering services and various fleet replacements. The details say the new vehicles have an estimated useful life of X years (varies depending on vehicle). Where equipment is proposed to be replaced, are the current vehicles still performing adequately? Are the replacements absolutely necessary? Could they be postponed?

    Leisure Center Upgrades – while the largest expenditures are projected in 2014-2016, there are also significant projectins for 2012. Have these contacts been reviewed in detail to ensure good quality hardware upgrades for the best money? Likewise with community hall upgrades, John Tonelli improvements, and the Sports Center improvements.

    That’s it for now :-).

  3. Looks like this new council is stuckk between a rock and a hard place this budget year.

    This Arts & Entertainment Centre / Library is going to cost us big time in tax dollars. It was a short sighted decision that I wish the previous council thought through in more detail.

    I would support delaying the opening as much as possible. I know that puts a monkey wrench in marketing plans and getting things scheduled but really, in the grand scheme of things, how many productions would it miss if it was delayed.

    Bike lanes? Its a want, not a need. We can do without them for now.

    I noticed in the library budget (first one on scheudle A page 3) that a budget for the grand opening? Again, I know we have to promote things and make things first class but the town can do a good job on a shoe string budget, it doesnt have to be that glitzy.

    Transit service can also be put on hold if you ask me. They just changed the routes this past fall didnt they? Is there really enough demand for Saturday service/Friday evening service? Thats all fine but seeing how I live in HV, and Friday night I wanted to go to Troys or Ivy Arms, its a pretty long bus ride with a transfer to get there. Id rather be drinking 🙂

    By Law enforcement increase over the weekend…again a want, not a need. I dont see the quality of life in Milton improving if there are more by law officers running around on Saturdays.

    Do what you can to keep the funding for our firefighters Mike. Right now Milton has a great force but they are stretched thin…I fully support the addition of another firefighter in town.

    Allow the plow? No one listens no matter how much marketing you do. Id cut that.

    As for a full time worker at Beaty library…there are enough workers there. We dont need anymore full time workers for the time being. Other companies and facilities in the private sector are cutting back staff and doing better with less…why is it the Town of Milton needs to increase its employees.

    Those are some of my ideas Mike. Thanks for posting this and keeping your promise of speaking with taxpayers. Believe me, its a refreshing change.

  4. As much as I am a fan of bike lanes, I could also live with putting them off for a year, although just for traffic calming reasons I’d like to see them on Scott Blvd first.

    I also noted that the delay suggested for opening the new Centre for the Arts is only two months, from April to June. Since I had been under the impression that it wouldn’t be ready for opening until June or July anyway, I could live with that as well. There isn’t as big a demand for bookings over the summer anyway.

    BTW, just to put things into perspective – that forty bucks you would spend to buy a paper copy of the budget is only slightly less than the proposed Town increase to your property taxes. Also, if the Region goes through with their proposed 1.4% increase, that will result in only a 2.53% increase in your overall tax bill – just slightly above the rate of inflation.

  5. Thanks for the input everyone.

    Yes it may work out to 40 bucks of an increase…nickels and dimes add up.

    The potential delay in opening the Milton Centre for the Arts has two components…delay until June and another delay until August as well.

    The Town is doing a great job getting sponsorship from both our residential & corporate citizens but as the Mayor outlined in an interview, the operation costs are huge. If we delay, we can save some extra money.

    Wants vs Needs.

  6. Hi Mike, I am going to look at the staff suggestions tonight to submit some comments via the Villager website. After that, I’m going to review what I can in detail between now and Monday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *