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2019 Budget Planning Media Release
Posted On: Monday, October 15, 2018 West Grey budget planning is part forecasting, part taking stock.
Building West Grey’s 2019 budget is an exercise of taking stock and
looking ahead. Past accomplishments, carry-over projects and new initiatives that align with the
Action Plan and community needs are all taken into account as the management team prepares
for the budget presentations in November.
“Our budget process is intensive, yet collaborative,” said West Grey’s CAO, Laura Johnston. “As a team, we evaluate our effectiveness in 2018 and establish priorities for next year. We remain focused on ensuring our fiscal strength, making sound investments in our community and planning for our future needs.”
There are several pressures on West Grey’s budget, such as infrastructure demands, delivering community services and investing in West Grey’s economic priorities. Over the past few years, responsible planning and concentrated spending has had significant pay-offs across the municipality.
By the numbers:
- Since 2016, $1.4 million has been invested in bridge infrastructure – a 300% increase over past budgets.
- A Bridge Rationalization Study will be presented in 2019 to establish long-term solutions to addressing the requirements for West Grey’s 107 structures (bridges, culverts and dams).
- $2.8 million investment in Bruce and Lambton Street upgrades, through a partnership with Grey County Transportation Services.
- Co-applied with the Town of Minto for grant funding of $2.4 million for reconstruction of the Normanby/Minto Town Line.
- 2019 will see more increases in the road maintenance program. Since 2016, $75,000 per year has been spent on the calcium chloride application program resulting in significant reductions in maintenance costs.
- Equipment investments continue with three compaction rollers added to graders and a proposed three more to complete the fleet. This results in safer roads and lower maintenance costs.
- A Road Rationalization Study will begin in 2019 to set the framework for future road maintenance scheduling.
- West Grey Police expanded their commitment to community service policing, attending and hosting several events in the community. The polar bear plunge, for example, raised thousands of dollars, and their first-ever bike rodeo at the Touch-A-Truck event taught bike safety and proper helmet fitting to dozens of youngsters.
- An on-line booking process will be launched in 2019 for reserving recreation spaces, with the plan to increase on-line options in the future.
- Increased partnerships between Parks & Recreation and West Grey Library has resulted in additional programs and increased presence at community events.
- West Grey Library membership grew by 391 new patrons.
- Summer camps increased as well with over 251 participants.
- Dedicated focus on economic development initiatives has resulted in increased investment in West Grey, the creation of a searchable GIS database of investment opportunities (to be completed early 2019) and several partnerships with neighbouring municipalities.
- West Grey is on the international scene! WestJet Magazine featured the Neustadt bakery “It’s My Pleasure” as part of their feature on the Butter Tarts & Buggies tourism trail.
“There will be pressures on the budget, as there are every year, and difficult choices will have to be made,” said Mayor Kevin Eccles. “The decisions and investments made through the budget deliberations impact residents, businesses and visitors to West Grey, and creating a budget that continues to build West Grey for today and for the future has always been the focus for council and staff.”
West Grey will be presenting its preliminary 2019 Budget on November 13, 2018.
About West Grey
Located in Grey County, and serving a population of just over 12,000, the municipality of West Grey is a combination of rural, farm communities, friendly urban centres and quaint villages. With our quintessential ‘small-town Ontario’ vibe, our calming, yet breathtaking scenery, and recreation for every season, West Grey is a truly welcoming place to call home.
Laura Johnston, CAO
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