Budget 2016 Chapter 1: Council targets funds for reserves, infrastructure renewal, grant hopes Print Article Font Size

A responsible budget, providing funding for renewal of Town assets and maintaining your levels of services are a few of the top priorities in the Town of Golden’s proposed 2016-2020 budget.

Find out more about these items, the budget process and why community engagement is so important! Residents are encouraged to attend the 2016-2020 Financial Plan Open-House on Tuesday, January 19th at the Golden Civic Centre from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Our 2016 Budget Book is now available to view! This document provides a snaphot of 2016's proposed expenditures! Check it out by clicking here. Hard copies will also be available at Town Hall starting on January 4, 2016.

At the December 15th Regular Open Council meeting, Mayor and Council passed the first reading of the proposed five-year financial plan.

Council is targeting a five-per-cent budget increase for 2016. While above the historic 2.0 per-cent increase, the municipality not only needs to keep up with inflation, but begin to seriously address the need to start saving for future renewal projects.While maintaining essential service levels, this budget includes more money going into reserves for infrastructure renewal and meeting anticipated large scale grant opportunities.

“We have a responsibility to renew our existing assets in the most fiscally responsible manner possible. This budget reflects that while also focusing on maintaining the existing services taxpayers expect,” says Mayor Ron Oszust. “Public consultation presents an opportunity for residents to voice concerns or recommendations to the Town prior to the budget being approved.”

Official budget planning started in August, 2015 at a staff level and in early September, 2015 it began to be debated by the Standing Committee of Finance (SCOF).
SCOF includes the Mayor and all members of Council and is the meeting format used for budget planning. It is set up to focus on the budget process and leave Regular Open Council meetings for day-to-day, ongoing Town business.

After 19 hours in meetings to date, Council has now come up with a proposed five-year financial plan. This budget acts like a roadmap for how money will be spent in the coming years.

The budget is set by bylaw requiring three readings and a period of time for public consultation. First reading was given on December 15 and now it is time for the community to provide constructive feedback on what is being proposed.

“Going forward, we must identify our infrastructure and service delivery needs while maintaining the public’s trust and confidence that their tax dollars are being spent wisely,” says Mayor Ron Oszust.  “Doing so also means we need to contribute to our community’s well-being, through responsible taxation.”

The municipality uses an open house a forum to discuss the budget and the various services provided. Staff from all departments will be on hand to explain existing services, and upcoming projects. The event is a forum for face-to-face conversations about issues that are important to everyone.

“This is a chance for the community to learn about the different services Golden offers and what the Council’s direction is for 2016 and beyond, by asking questions and providing us feedback,” says CAO  Jon Wilsgard.

Being a good citizen is about being involved!  On January 19, Town Council and Staff encourage you to get involved and drop by the Civic Centre between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  The event is open to everyone and free to attend. Savoury snacks will also be provided!

Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of Budget 2016. The Town of Golden is committed to bringing you the whole budget story in four chapters throughout the public consultation process.

Starting in January, look for our weekly news releases in the local newspapers and on our website, www.golden.ca. You can view the deatiled package of Reading 1 of the 2016-2020 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw 1360 by clicking here.