Mayor Lisa Holmes and Deputy Mayor Stephen Dafoe have Coffee at Friends & Neighbors Monday morning with Lucien Beaupre, active in the community with the Royal Canadian Legion and Morinville Lions Club. Beaupre expressed his opinion on the arena and lighting on main street during the Budget Coffee Chat. More gatherings are planned throughout the week.
– Lucie Roy Photo
by Lucie Roy with files from Tristan Turner
Council began hitting the local coffee shops Monday morning, part of their plan to talk to residents about the 2015 budget where residents gather. Council started with a 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. session at Friends and Neighbors Monday morning and will hold a 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. session at the Green Bean Coffee House and Bistro Monday night. As Council has an all-day budget workshop on Tuesday, the coffee rounds resume on Wednesday with a 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. session at Tim Hortons and a 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. session at Higher Grounds Espresso Bar on 100 Avenue. Council will end the coffee chats Thursday evening at A&W on 100 Avenue from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attendance was sparse at the first early-morning session. One of the people Mayor Lisa Holmes and Deputy Mayor Stephen Dafoe spoke to was Lucien Beaupre, active in the community with the Royal Canadian Legion and Morinville Lions Club. Beaupre expressed his opinion on the arena and lighting on main street during the Budget Coffee Chat.
Council accepted the 2015 Operational Budget and Capital Plan Draft Report for information during the Oct. 28 Council meeting, a departure from the way Council has approached the budget in the past. Typically, Council would approve the first reading prior to taking the budget to the public for input ahead of second and third readings.
With Administration’s draft budget received as information, Council has spent the past couple weeks identifying priorities and service levels based on public input.
Information gathered during those meetings, as well as information received online and in person, will form the basis of the budget that Council will give a first reading to on Nov. 25. Council then has the option of passing a second reading that same night or passing a number of amendments prior to second reading.
The Draft Budget received as information projects that Town Revenues for 2015 will be $12,447,194, a 5.9 percent revenue increase from the $11,777,327 budgeted in 2014.
On the expenditures side, the Draft Budget presents $12,589,241 as the costs to run the Town in 2015, an increase of $430,856 (3.5 per cent) over the 12,158,385 budgeted for in 2104.
Council and Administration will spend the week of Dec. 2 to 9 hosting additional public input sessions prior to the third reading of the budget, which could then take place Dec. 9.
A Budget Open House is scheduled for Dec. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the 2nd floor of Civic Hall 10125 – 100 Avenue. Residents looking for more information can call 780-939-4361 or visit the Town of Morinville website at Morinville.ca.