It may be another month before Merrickville-Wolford council can pass the 2018 budget. Council voted last Monday night not to pass the budget at a levy increase of 1.75%. Because they are spending less than last year in the capital budget, this works out to an operating budget increase of around 3%. This is higher than the 1.75% increase cap that council put on the operating budget at a previous meeting. “We need to cut 1.25 per cent from the operating budget,” says Councillor Stephen Ireland.
The problem with this delay is that it stops staff from moving ahead with capital projects, and municipal grants (which were passed at the meeting) cannot be distributed. According to Councillor Ireland, it is possible to pass a capital budget separately from the operating budget. He says this would solve the problem, and he may bring it up with Mayor Nash so they can at least pass the capital budget at the next meeting.