Cobourg Council Approves 2021 Municipal Operating and Capital Budget

by mforestell,

(Cobourg, ON) February 1, 2021 – Municipal Council has adopted the 2021 Municipal Operating and Capital Budgets with a 0.4% municipal levy increase, which equates to an increase of approximately $7 on the Town portion of the average home assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) at $275 700.

During the month of December 2020, Council received presentations from Town staff across all divisions and departments with projections for the 2021 budget. Budget deliberations occurred over two days, on January 21 and 22, 2020, during a live meeting conducted over Zoom Videoconference and streamed on eSCRIBE, the Town’s meeting management software

At the conclusion of the budget deliberation sessions Council then approved a motion for the 2021 Capital Budget for $8 139 600 (as amended) and the 2021 Operating Budget (including the Library and Police) with the Municipal Levy of $24 793 569 which represents a 0.4% increase over the 2020 Operating Budget and a 0.2% net decrease after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 0.6%. Final approval occurred during the Regular Council meeting held on February 1.

“The global pandemic has brought upon many fiscal challenges that our Council and Town staff kept at the forefront of our budget deliberations,” said Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin for the Town of Cobourg. “It was our goal to keep our tax levy increase as low as possible while continuing to advance our strategic priorities and also aligning with the service level expectations of our community.”

Residents also participated in a four-week public engagement process on the Town of Cobourg’s public engagement portal, Engage Cobourg. The engagement process included a 2021 Financial Framework Survey where comments were received on the budget process and were taken into consideration by Council and Town staff prior to the final approval of the 2021 Municipal Operating and Capital Budget.

Under the Municipal Act, The Town of Cobourg Council is required to ensure that the following services are maintained: Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation, Roads, Transit, Land Use Planning, Local Government, Library, Solid Waste, Storm Water, Wastewater and Drinking Water.

Highlights of the 2021 Municipal Operating and Capital Budget include an adult fitness park, an increase in tree planting, hiring of one additional firefighter, the creation of a Natural System Stewardship Plan, additional downtown Pay and Display parking machines, an IT Strategic Plan and an Economic Development, and on-demand Transit Trial.

“Our Council listened to our residents and worked hard to make this a reality. Several motions were made to change, remove and defer items in this budget. We knew that the taxpayers of Cobourg could not afford a large tax increase due to COVID-19, continues Deputy Mayor Séguin. “I want to thank the community and our many engaged citizens who participated in our open budget deliberations and to Town staff for their hard work on the budget,” continues Deputy Mayor Séguin.

The final 2021 Municipal Operating and Capital Budget, including the Police and Library budgets as well as the Public Engagement Report can be found on the Municipal website at www.cobourg.ca/budget.

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