Lake Country council works on budget

Council and staff met Tuesday to discuss the proposed financial plan

Firm details are still being hammered out for Lake Country’s 2015 budget.

Council and staff met Tuesday to discuss the proposed financial plan, which includes a 2.76 per cent municipal tax increase.

“We went through all of the requests and are now reviewing them,” said Coun. Owen Dickie.

“We met again Thursday to debate all of the requests and begin finalizing the number.”

Details from Thursday’s meeting were not known at press time.

If the 2.76 per cent tax hike proceeds, it will amount to an additional $45 for the average home.

“It’s looking like we can get most of our wish list done but there are some things councillors want added and there may be some items removed,” said Mayor James Baker.

“There is no final figure out yet.”

Baker admits there is a balancing act between residents’ ability to pay taxes and the need to provide services.

“We are trying to put money towards roads and other infrastructure.”

Total capital spending for 2015 is set at $9.5 million.

The proposed budget includes $2.6 million related to purchasing the Canadian National rail corridor if borrowing is approved by the public.

Some requests for service increases are possible,

“Staff is requesting council to approve a total of $69,300,” said Alberto de Feo, chief administrative officer.

“Staff was able to keep operational increases down thanks to reorganizational savings gained in the last three years.”