City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the November 27 Meeting?

This week, we take a break from the budget in order to talk about… the budget. Although this regular council meeting is not necessarily about the 2018 Guelph Budget, it turns out that there’s both current and future budget stuff to go over anyway.

CLOSED MEETING: Public Appointment to Guelph Sports Hall of Fame Directors; 2018 Non-Union Compensation Increase

CON-2017.53 2017 Q3 Operating Variance Report – Here’s some good budget news from the current year, a net favourable variance from the third quarter reporting period. City departments are up $34,500, while local and outside boards have a surplus of $2.35 million. So what’s driving these savings? Well, both the county’s social services and the Guelph Police Service are showing a favourable year-end position, as is the amount of compensation (read: salary) for City staff even though there has been an increase in overtime and temporary wages. There’s also been higher than anticipated revenues from advertising, parking, stormwater, water and wastewater. On the downside of things though, there’s also been lower than anticipated revenue from ice rentals and Guelph Transit, which has been a trend this year. Also a trend is Environmental Services again projecting an unfavourable variance due to increased expenses from processing recyclables of the third parties and increased haulage costs, but that is offset to a degree thanks to increased revenue from public drop-off and transfer station fees.

CON-2017.54 2018 Tax-Supported Operating Budget, Revised – A revision, you say? Yes, and the good news is that the revision is downward. Instead of the previously reported increase of 2.19 per cent above the 2017 net tax levy operating budget for a total bill of $232,907,226, staff is now saying it will be 1.75 per cent for a total levy of $231,368,103 for 2018. That’s a 0.44 per cent decrease, or just over $1.5 million in difference between the new recommended budget and the one previously discussed on November 8. The reason? The assessment growth projections look about $888,287 higher than originally thought, and although the final assessment won’t be known until the new year, the indications given the positive variance in the tax revenue mentioned above definitely seems to indicate an increase in the assessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. The recommendations for the operating budget expansion packs, the local board expansions, and the additional one per cent for the infrastructure levy remain.

Consent Items from the Committee-Of-the-Whole meeting on November 6:

  • COW-CS-2017.18 Shared Cost Allocation Basis – Wellington Dufferin – Guelph Public Health
  • COW-CS-2017.19 Changes to Vacant Unit Tax Rebate Program
  • COW-CS-2017.20 Fall 2017 Public Appoints to Various Advisory Boards and Committees
  • COW-PS-2017.13 Street Ownership and Maintenance
  • COW-PS-2017.14 Bicycle Skills Facility
  • COW-PS-2017.15 Speedvale Avenue Bridge Underpass
  • COW-AUD-2017.10 Internal Audit Work Plan 2018-2020

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