It’s “boring” but it gets the job done.
That’s how Mayor Mark Willmer described Madawaska Valley’s draft budget, which council will meet to discuss next week.
It calls for a 2 per cent tax increase, well under the national inflation rate of 5.9.
Willmer says staff were able to keep the increase low because Madawaska Valley was in a good financial position heading into the year and is not planning many big capital projects now.
“Surprisingly, when I look at the budget, it doesn’t eliminate any services,” he says. “In many ways it’s a boring budget, but it’s an excellent budget. In today’s world, with inflation, it makes sense. I’m really pleased with how it came in.”
Wilmer says he suspects council will request some tweaks when budget deliberations continue next Wednesday. But he says he’s already pleased with the figures and he will encourage council to leave the budget report, mostly, as is.
Willmer said council started the budget process knowing that inflation is hurting many people and asked staff to work towards a budget that didn’t call for any more than a 2 per cent increase.
“I think it’s important to recognize that it’s a difficult time for people right now, just being able to afford basics with inflation,” he says. “It was difficult to come up with this budget. But we didn’t cut any services. There have been some reductions in reserves, but they’ll be paid back.”