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Cramahe aims to approve 2017 budget by mid-March

By Mandy Martin, For Northumberland Today


Prepping for its 2017 budget deliberations, Cramahe Township has set a schedule of meetings and consultations.

“In doing this, the hope is to have a more efficient, timely, and cost effective budget for 2017,” a report from Treasurer Nicole Leach-Bihun states.

The month of November, staff is to meet and prepare preliminary papers and discuss “wish list” items from which council will begin to narrow down a schedule of budget deliberations.

The plan is to have the 2017 budget approved by mid-March 2017.

“I’d like to see us move it up to late January or February,” Mayor Marc Coombs said.

“We need to do a review of a number of contracts,” Deputy Mayor Sandra Arthur said. “One of them would be our insurance to make sure we are getting the best bang for our dollar. We need to move on it now because I know from my personal work that it takes six to eight weeks to conduct a review and get back to the municipality. I know of one other firm that would be interested in bidding on it. Every year, our insurance increases by five, 10 or 15 per cent and so we need to do due diligence on that.

“We also need a consultants review,” Deputy mayor Arthur said referring to the costs of the various consultants used by the municipality — human resources, engineering, water treatment, etc.

“We need to know how we’re running with a comparison. If there are any long-term contracts, when it comes to budget time, we need to be able to say we’ve stepped up and we’re doing our job.”