In the first look at the Pouce Coupe 2019-2023 operating budget at last Tuesday’s budget meeting, the areas of general government, environmental health, public health and welfare, and recreation will see a combined decrease of $35,887 — going from a budget of $1,111,438 in 2018 to $1,075,551 in the proposed budget.
This continues a downward trend in spending — in 2016, the Village budgeted $1,327,373 for the four categories.
“The important thing to highlight is that with all of these budget decreases, we’ve actually increased the amount of stuff we’re doing,” says CAO Chris Leggett.
The general government cost — administration, finance, town hall operations — sees the largest decrease going from $754,265 in 2018 to $712,423 in 2019.
Public health and welfare (animal control, bylaw and cemetery) also sees a decrease from $48,832 to $40,500.
Environmental health will, however, see an increase from $47,816 to $48,003 due to garbage truck repair estimates and union wage increases, and recreation will see a large increase of $14,100 to $274,625 due to additional Canada Day costs and museum operating costs.
All except environmental health also saw decreases in the actual amount spent compared to what was budgeted in 2018. general government saw $69,385 saved in actual spending, public health $17,162, and recreation $16,303. Environmental health saw a $2,202 increase from the budgeted amount in 2018. (Using unaudited numbers).
Upon being asked by council about what the tax increase for 2019 might look like, Leggett said he would recommend an average increase of $2 or $3 per month per household as they have been doing in previous years, although the decision would be up to council.