Planning board budget increases municipal contributions

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GORE BAY—Member municipalities of the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) will see an increase in their requisitions for 2019.

At a board meeting last week, the board passed their budget, which represents a three percent increase. 

“For 2019 we are not anticipating a huge difference in costs,” said Jake Diebolt, GIS technician/co-ordinator of MPB at a regular board meeting last week. He noted, for instance, there is a slight increase in what the MPB will pay in rent this year. He said the items in the budget had been recalculated to exclude the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on purchases and to exclude the HST rebates from miscellaneous revenue which was done to align the board’s accounting with best practices that do not count HST rebates as revenue. There was also a slight increase in payroll burden, and board member mileage was indicated. The budget also included a two percent cost-of-living salary increase for MPB employees. 

“In terms of applications, we have budgeted for $33,000,” said Mr. Diebolt.
Mr. Diebolt provided a chart comparing the two apportionment methods of municipal requisitions for discussion, one using weighted assessment.

Although the weighted assessment method means a cost-share increase for Gordon/Barrie Island, MPB member and municipal reeve Lee Hayden said, “the weighted assessment method is the fairest way to split the costs (for all those MPB municipal members).”

“Weighted assessment takes into account a municipality’s ability to generate revenue, what they can collect and their ability to pay,” said Ken Noland, reeve of Burpee-Mills.

The MPB members agreed that the weighted assessment method was the one they favoured. 

The board accepted the budget, with a three percent increase to municipalities, as presented. The total budget is for $166,577.21 with municipal contributions increasing from $105,076.61 in 2018 to $108,312.52 in 2019.

The MPB members voted unanimously to pass the budget.