A Letter from the Deputy Mayor

For many residents the Town of Cobourg municipal budget process does not generate a lot of interest. However, during 2020, the year most of us would like to forget, we are hard at work crunching numbers and preparing the 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets. Until December 14, residents can log on to www.engagecobourg.ca to complete the Town of Cobourg 2021 Financial Framework Survey that helps your Municipal Council and Staff to identify areas of focus for the Town’s current and long-term financial priorities.

We know that this has been a tough year for many of you because of COVID-19. Keeping that in mind, the target levy for 2021 is 0% to 1% over the 2020 municipal levy that was $24.6 million. Approximately two-thirds of the Town’s operating costs are for services that are mandatory or essential in nature. A recent Service Delivery Review outlined areas where the Town can find efficiencies, save money, build reserves and minimize debt. Budgets approved by Council include General Government, Protection, Public Works, Cultural and Parks and Recreation.

There are Five Steps to the Budget Process: 1. Set the budget timeline (November 16, 2020) 2. Division staff presentations (December 8, 15 and 17, 2020) 3. Release of the Draft Budget for public review and input (December. 22, 2020) 4. A review by Council of the budget and public comments (January 21, 2021) and 5. Approval of the 2021 Budget (February 16, 2021).

There are many factors when planning Budgets including:

  • Actual spending for 2020
  • New projects that require financing
  • Potential new staffing requirements
  • New equipment like trucks, computers, phones, tools, etc.

Departments then submit their preliminary budgets to Finance staff who compile and review the budgets and plans, make suggestions and revise accordingly. The draft budget is then distributed to Council and senior staff for review. Council reviews the budget, makes amendments to add, delete or modify the proposed budget. The final budget is then approved at the next Council meeting. From this tax rates are set and approved.

We do want to hear from you. Please contact me anytime at sseguin@cobourg.ca or call 905-269-1560.

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