With no cuts in budget ‘we’re going to take the rap’: Carr

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – With another budget meeting and no significant movement on the final number, the budget chairman says the committee better be prepared to “take the rap” from tapxpayers.

The only change was based on an update from CFO Tracey Bailey. Based on updated assessment rolls, the projected increase is now 4.18 per cent – down from 4.57 per cent.

That equates to an extra $94 a year on a home assessed at $162,000.

“We’ve got to do something. We can’t keep meeting and talking…and doing nothing,” Carr said at the conclusion of the meeting.

“We’re (council) going to take the rap for this budget. We have to be prepared for that,” Carr said sternly. “If we’re not united on this (budget) we’re going to be in big trouble.”

Coun. Bernadette Clement took exception to Carr’s suggestion that the committee has done nothing.

Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy proposed that a city paving job, being done for a water and sewer project, be taken from the water and sewer reserve funds.

CAO Maureen Adams told the budget committee that the mayor’s proposal is not “out of line” and that other municipalities have funded roadworks out of water and sewer budgets.

The target for water and sewer reserves is around $3.5 million and the city currently has $4 million in its coffers, councillors heard.

But Coun. Andre Rivette was having none of it. He believes the money should only be specifically for water and sewer work.

The idea will likely come up at the full council meeting.

Meanwhile, the committee approved the water and sewer budget with a projected 1.43 per cent increase or an extra $8 to $11 a year for the average homeowner. It still has to be passed by the full city council.