North Glengarry defers $411,000 in capital projects

North Glengarry council holds a special meeting on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 to look at projects to defer in this year's capital budget. Pictured (clockwise from top left) are Coun. Brenda Noble, Mayor Jamie MacDonald, CFO Kim Goyette and Deputy Mayor Carma Williams. (North Glengarry/Zoom via Newswatch Group)

ALEXANDRIA – North Glengarry councillors have put just over $411,000 in capital projects on the back burner until next year in order to stem any bleeding from the municipal budget due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The deferred projects include office flooring, tables, signs and interpretive panels for economic development, a bench near Munro and McIntosh, the Dominion Bridge Structure #59 (a staff report says deferring the bridge has “minimal risk or impact” to the public), amenities for Island Park, an electric ice edger for the Glengarry Sports Palace, a water line on Kincardine Street and some sewer equipment upgrades.

The township’s CFO, Kim Goyette, doesn’t foresee too many clouds on the budget horizon this year.

“I’m really not worried,” Goyette told councillors under a special council meeting Wednesday afternoon.

From lost tax revenue and lost revenue from recreational facilities, the operating budget will increase $90,000. But deferring $60,000 in tax-based capital (of the $411,171), it will result in an overall deficit of about $30,000.

“And the $30,000, if don’t hire part-time people for public works to water flowers because recreation department said they would handle that. And the other savings through not being able to spend, it kind of evens it out,” Goyette explained.

“I think at the worst case scenario…we might see $15,000 to $20,000 that we have to come up with. I really think it’s going to break even…I really think we’re within line.”

For the capital projects deferred, grants and gas tax money will just sit in the township’s bank account.

Councillors seemed to accept the explanation and plan and voted for the deferral of capital in a meeting that lasted about 20 minutes.