Clearview finds funds for speed signs
At its third and final scheduled budget workshop, Clearview council struck a one-two punch, getting the overall increase down to 2.44 per cent and devising a plan to erect street signs facilitating approved speed reductions on select local roads.
Treasurer Kelly MacDonald reported that the “most exciting news” is that revenue from growth came in much higher than anticipated at $500,485 (when it was budgeted at $200,000) creating a reduction of 2.86 per cent.
In a meeting designed to process public feedback on the budget, the speed signs were a big topic of conversation as a result of several requests to add them back in. Readers may recall that council, although it approved the speed reductions on certain roads, then cut the $50,000 cost of the signs that would indicate the change to the motoring public.
CAO John Ferguson devised a plan that, with council approval, would result in staff utilizing an existing equipment fund that can be used for street signs, and provincial grant money to get the signs installed, once a draft bylaw is ready for consideration in the early spring. (The township received $1,044,495 in grant money from the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF), about $600,000 more than expected.)
“That way we don’t have to go back and rescind a vote that took $50,000 out of the budget,” said Ferguson. “We can work within the budget – we think we have the means to do so – and the OCIF funding can help in our flexibility.”
Deputy director of public works Dan Perreault said he is also hoping to use the equipment fund to purchase traffic calming equipment.
A full costing and report is scheduled to come back to council at the March 7 meeting.
Deputy Mayor Barry Burton would not support the budget due to another cut made during deliberations.
“I will not be supporting this budget and the reason is, I feel that we are artificially decreasing the budget by removing funds that should be going into funding for [the affordable housing reserve for seniors] and I feel that is an important issue we should be doing,” said Burton.