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Niagara Falls
Friday, April 19, 2024
Town of NOTL finds savings, approves 2023 budget

UPDATE: This story originally said the town hadn’t approved the operating budget, however council approved in on Tuesday.

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake council has approved the town’s operating budget for 2023, and found $94,622 in savings during a special meeting on Tuesday.

The operating budget was proposed at $43,920,434 for 2023, with the capital budget having been approved at $9,695,042 last week.

About $15 million of the proposed operating budget will come from the town’s tax levy, with another $952,110 being funded through areas where the town charges a special storm levy.

In the latest in a long series of debates, councillors were eager Tuesday to finalize the operations budgets and were largely focused in on cost-saving, particularly surrounding town hires and contract workers.

Coun. Wendy Cheropita made a series of motions, many of them asking the town to continue with contract employees until the town can finalize its strategic plan.

She asked to reconsider hiring an economic development officer as well as the lord mayor’s executive officer until 2024, but those motions were defeated.

Cheropita also wanted the town’s communications co-ordinator to remain a contract position for 2023, which passed for a cost reduction of $6,000.

At her suggestion, council also agreed to defer switching five contract positions to full-time jobs until 2024. That will save $75,450.

Cheropita’s motion to reconsider a decision to hire a health and safety co-ordinator was defeated.

She also asked to remove a digital records co-ordinator from the budget.

After discussion council voted to keep the position but have a portion of the diverted from the general levy. That saved $18,572.

Several positions remained as contracts and Coun. Erwin Wiens took issue with that.

He wanted the town to commit to more full-time positions, so the people in contract positions don’t start looking elsewhere for full-time work.

Coun. Nick Ruller said he heard his concerns but wants to have an approved strategic plan before committing to full-time positions.

Council ran out of time before it could finalize the budget and moved directly into a planning meeting after.

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