Councillor Adams appointed chair of 2016 Budget Committee

Tue, 06 Oct 2015

2016 budget process begins with review of the draft 2016 Capital Budget and 10-year Capital Forecast

At the October 5, 2015, 2016 Budget Committee meeting, Councillor Tom Adams was selected for the eighth consecutive year as Oakville’s budget chair. Councillor Adams holds his Master’s in Business Administration from McMaster University and is a former senior risk manager to one of Canada's major financial institutions.

“The proposed capital budget once again demonstrates accountability and responsible management of taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “I am confident that our Budget Chair will ensure we continue to provide residents with the services and programs they expect while keeping taxes in line with inflation.”

Oakville is committed to offering valued services and programs to residents and making strategic investments in community priorities. Each year the town’s annual budget is one of the most important tasks facing Town Council, and Council has directed staff to prepare a budget that keeps the overall tax increase in line with inflation.

As its first order of business, the Budget Committee received the Draft 2016 Capital Budget and 2016-2025 Capital Budget and Forecast. Staff is recommending a $99.8 million budget in 2016 and just over $1 billion for capital requirements over the next 10 years. Oakville’s capital budget is aimed at five key components – infrastructure renewal, growth, strategic priorities, community enhancements and enterprise initiatives.

With a $600 million investment over 10 years in roads and transit Oakville will be able to maintain its current road infrastructure and keep up with community growth. This fulfils Council’s commitment to infrastructure renewal including new road and bridge construction, road resurfacing, storm water management and a better transit system over the next decade.

The remainder of the 10-year Capital Budget is set for major projects including $29.4 million for the Oakville Arena rehabilitation and seniors centre set for completion in 2018; $25.1 million for the South Central Community Centre scheduled for completion in 2020; and $28.8 million for the town’s Emerald Ash Borer management program. The town will also be setting aside funding for a wide variety of other community programs such as harbours, parks and open space, forestry and other community and culture facilities.

Council is planning a financially sustainable future for Oakville by carefully managing its debt levels. The $90 million debt issued for the contribution to Oakville’s new hospital is being paid for by non-tax supported sources and development charges are being used to the maximum extent possible to fund new growth related infrastructure. The recommended issuance of $11.5 million in debt to fund the LED streetlight replacement plan will be paid for by energy savings created by the project itself.

“The recommended capital budget invests in infrastructure renewal for the benefit of existing residents and provides infrastructure to keep up with new development in a way that makes the development community pay for growth to the maximum extent allowed,” said Budget Committee Chair Councillor Tom Adams. “I encourage residents to review the budget documents and provide feedback. These will be your tax dollars at work.”

The Budget Committee will reconvene on Wednesday, October 21 at 9:30 a.m. in Council Chamber to hear staff presentations.

This year’s budget process runs to December 14, 2016, with the 2016 Capital Budget and 10-year Capital Forecast discussed in October, followed by the 2016 Operating Budget discussed in November. The Budget Committee’s recommendations on both the capital and the operating budgets will go to Council for final approval on December 14, 2015.

“I look forward to continuing to engage the public in our budget process,” said Councillor Adams. “Our budget will focus on building and maintaining infrastructure, delivering high quality programs and services while keeping overall property tax increases in-line with inflation.”

The proposed 2016 Capital Budget and 10-year Capital Forecast can be reviewed on the 2016 Budget Book page or in person at Town Hall at the ServiceOakville customer service desk.

Those wishing to appear before the Budget Committee as a delegate can register by emailing townclerk@oakville.ca or calling 905-815-6015. If you would like to attend the meeting and have any accessibility needs, please contact Kathy Patrick at 905-845-6601, ext. 4235 or fill out the accessible online feedback form.

Can’t make the Budget Committee meetings in person? Watch them live on TownTV or email your comments to budget@oakville.ca. Visit the 2016 Budget page for details. All submissions whether in person, writing, email or social media, will be considered as part of the Budget Committee deliberations.