With its capital budget set, Quinte West council sits down tonight (Monday) to begin hammering out its operating budget for this year.
Staff will present a draft 2017 budget featuring a 2.2% increase in tax rates in all 4 wards, or less than $60 a year on the average home in Quinte West valued at $202,000.
Highlights from staff’s budget presentation include a higher subsidy than projected for the operation of the brand new Trent Port Marina.
While boater traffic did increase last year from 2015, the marina wasn’t as busy as analysts had predicted, so staff is proposing taxpayers continue subsidizinging its operation, to the tune of $140,000 this year.
Staff, using information from consultants, had projected revenue from the marina to be $815,000 in 2017, but have lowered expectations to between $600,000 and $700,000.
The 2107 operating budget includes some new hiring by the city. It’s proposed 3 part-time mechanics be hired for fleet maintenance at a cost of $130,000. Staff predict the new positions will save taxpayers money as the equipment won’t have to be serviced elsewhere.
It’s also proposed the Internet Technology department be boosted by hiring a person at a cost of $75,000.
Forty-five thousand dollars is included for a part-time “plans examiner”.
Also staff suggests hiring a Human Resources Assistant, a Junior Engineering Tech and 2 part-time labourers.
Quinte West council’s special budget meeting begins at 6 tonight at city hall.