Mayor says municipality waiting on city of Montreal to finalize its budget plan
© Chronicle photo Peter Ford
Beaconsfield is expected to table the city’s budget in mid-January, one month after it was initially scheduled for Dec. 16.
Expected to be tabled during a Dec. 16 council meeting, Beaconsfield’s budget will have to wait at least one more month as it waits for Montreal’s agglomeration council to settle its own budget –and by extension, the required taxes owed by West Island municipalities and residents.
“One thing is certain: we know the agglomeration may be late, but they’re not going to be late asking us for payment,” Mayor George Bourelle told The Chronicle.
During an agglomeration meeting last week, Bourelle and 13 other mayors of reconstituted municipalities were made aware of the delay, which the Beaconsfield mayor was told it was due to the necessity of a more “thorough preparation of the budget.”
The upcoming budget is considered Bourelle’s first real test as mayor.
Beaconsfield paid the city of Montreal $19.8 million this year, a 1.8 percent jump from 2012. And should that figure increase for Beaconsfield’s upcoming budget, now expected in mid-January, residents could see a rise in agglomeration taxes in the new year.
Meanwhile, the operating budget for the municipality is expected to hover, if not slightly increase due to inflation, around last year’s mark of $20.2 million – a 3.4 percent drop off from 2012. “I can’t tell you if we’ll have a slight increase in taxes. I’m trying to aim for stable taxes as much as possible,” said Bourelle, who’s getting ready for a fourth budget meeting tonight with city councillors.
Residents whose homes have been re-evaluated at a higher value may, indeed, be forced to pay slightly more.
“I’m just hoping we can get our citizens the best value for their tax dollar,” said Bourelle.
So what exactly is the best value for Beaconsfielders’ tax dollar?
According to Bourelle, that would be replacing or modifying everything and anything involving city infrastructure –from deteriorating buildings like Centennial Hall to crumbling roads and sidewalks.
While he wouldn’t explicitly divulge details of the previous budget meetings with city councillors, the mayor did hint that certain sports and recreation facilities could use some upgrades.