Projects for Raymond’s 2014 fiscal year were approved in principle during Tuesday night’s council meeting, with the proposed Victoria Park Sportsfield capping the list.
“What we did was we approved the operating side before Christmas and then Tuesday night we approved the capital side. Victoria Park is the main project and then council has a north-side infrastructure project where there will be some new sewer lines going in,” explained chief administrative officer Scott Barton.
“And then their streets improvement program where they are doing a couple blocks of paving and some sidewalk replacement.”
The capital budget was approved in principle until March, when the council will look at the new assessment and tax implication numbers before finalizing their budget. Minor adjustments are expected to be made once official numbers are received from the provincial government.
“There is also an ice arena renovation project that will kind of carry over fromlast year, which will include some upgrades to the mechanical systems and we will be starting on some change rooms and new washrooms in the arena,” Barton said.
“Those are the big projects, everything else is fairly small from there.”
Funding from the provincial government is a huge deciding factor in the adjustments council will make come this spring. An example of which was demonstrated last year when Municipal Sustainability Initiative operational funding was cut in municipalities across the province.
“That directly impacted our budget so we had to adjust. As far as the council having things planned, no they don’t have anything planned yet,” he said.
“They just respond to any changes that the government may place on us. That’s why (the budget) is pretty well set already, it’s just a matter of the unknown factor from the provincial government.”
Under the MSI capital funding the Town of Raymond received $624,000 last year, which is expected to change slightly this year said Barton, adding that each year is slightly different.
“We know that MSI operating will go down just under $200,000 this year, unless they change from what was delivered last year,” he added.
“Right now we are planning based on what they announced last year in March, and if that changes we will do our tweaking, but I’m not anticipating much change.”
In fact the town is hoping to hear an announcement from both the provincial and federal governments of an infrastructure program, however no details on that have been received to date.
“We are hoping there will be some money there for some projects that are on our list but are on hold, sort of, until we get the funding,” Barton said.
Overall, the town is expecting a total revenue of $6.3 million, and an expenditure total to match, which leaves $25,000 after all obligations have been met to be pulled out of the operational budget to cover capital expenses.
“We will have $851,000 in capital grants. Right now that just includes stuff we have approved to date, which basically gives us a net revenue, at this point, of $877,000 which hasn’t been assigned to any capital projects,” Barton said.
“We approved $851,840 as the interim budget. We will look at this again in March when we go to set tax rates and if any amendments need to be made, we will make them then.”