Planning Board close to balanced budget despite “tough year”

Shutterstock

GORE BAY – In spite of everything that has taken place this year, not the least being the COVID-19 pandemic, the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) is very close to balancing its budget for 2020.

“Just for your information I wanted to let the board know we are very close to being on track with this year’s budget,” Theresa Carlisle, secretary-treasurer of the MPB told board members at a meeting held earlier this month. 

Attached to the board agenda was a draft comparison of actual revenues and expenditures as of December 1 prepared by (MPB) GIS technician Jake Diebolt. Ms. Carlisle provided a brief summary of the proposed 2020 budget compared to the actuals to date and explained that due in part to COVID-19, application fees are down so far this year, resulting in a decrease in MPB postage costs, staff mileage and site visit costs, as well as costs for attending conferences. Also due to electronic meetings having taken place this year, there has also been a decrease in board member mileage costs. The overall projected MPB budget deficit for the year is $1,250, Ms. Carlisle told council. She informed the board that she is hopeful there will be a couple of planning applications ready for circulation before year end, and that would balance the budget.

Ms. Carlisle told the board, “the bottom line is that with two more building applications that would balance us out for the year. I have one that will be coming before the end of the year, so $725 will be reduced from the sheet.”

“This is quite good, considering what we’ve been through this year,” said board chair Richard Stephens, noting the total revenues for application fees has decreased from $33,000 to $24,000 this year.  

Board member Lee Hayden said, “it is a pleasant surprise to see where we are (budget wise). I didn’t expect us to be this close.”