2009 budget adopted for The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains town council adopted its 2009 budget including a tax increase of 2.2 per cent. A staff report received by council at their March 9 meeting estimated that taxes collected in 2009 will amount to $9,527,545 compared to the $8,903,253 in 2008. Council discussed the budget at a series of seven public sessions starting December 4 with the most recent amendments made at last week’s meeting on March 2. The original draft budget suggested a tax increase of 5.3 per cent, but council directed staff to make further cuts to bring the number down. Staff made cuts to the training and travel budget, axed the clothing allowance for inside workers, reduced the amount of money transferred to reserves, pushed capital projects into future years, cut legal costs and adjusted the IT budget to more conservative levels. Councillor Bob Gamble, chair of the finance and administration committee, remained opposed to adopting and enacting the 2009 budget. During the previous sessions, he explained that the town needed to have a more frugal budget given the status of the global economy at the time. After council voted in favour of accepting the budget, Councillor Cameron Kennedy said he hoped they could start discussing the 2010 budget early this year, because he wished they had more time to look at the 2009 budget.