2016/17 Budget Process

The 2016/17 budget process formally started in the fall of 2015 at the November Committee of the Whole meeting; however, it should be noted input on budget matters takes place throughout the year.

Assessments

It is important to highlight that the increase in taxable assessments for 2016 are relatively small in the residential sector and that, in fact, commercial assessments have declined. With no change in tax rates, the 2016/17 taxable assessment base will only generate $64,900 in increased revenue. This compares to $243,000 increased revenue in 2015/16 budget, and $165,000 increased revenue in 2014/15. The reality is that the Town had less new assessment from construction, and a very small increase from cost of living increase applied to assessments via the Provincial Capped Assessment Program (CAP).

  • Provincial CAP for 2016 is 0.3%
  • 54% of residential properties qualified for CAP
  • 87% of residential assessments increased 1% of less, including properties that decreased
  • 5% of residential assessments declined
  • Commercial had an overall 2.4% drop in taxable assessment value
  • Approximately 60% of commercial accounts declined in value, which appears to be a trend across the province.

Draft Version 1

Draft Version 1 was presented to Council at a Special Committee of the Whole meeting on January 21, 2016 and had a short fall in excess of $300,000.

The following direction was provided to staff to prepare version 2:

Revenues

The following expenditures would be funded through the Town's Operating Reserve*  
  2016 Municipal Election   $25,000
  One year term position for building inspection (part-time)     38,600
  Term employee for Phase II of the MPS Review (part-time)     19,800
  Capital Funding Requirement     48,000
The estimated revenue for parking fines was increased     16,000
Employment grant for GIS summer student       8,200

Expenditures

Partial Implementation of Compensation Plan     $30,000
 Reduction in Professional Development Budget      20,000
 Remove allowance for additional staff hours in finance         9,600
Reduction in contract services for the CAO         3,000
Decrease in tax exemption expenditure for 2016 assessments                                       3,400
Reduction to Festival & Events Program expenditures      10,000
   
Total Reduction in Shortfall $241,600

*Staff recommended using operating reserves for these expenditures in accordance with the Town's Reserve Policy (140-006).

  Click here to view the January 21, 2016 Special Committee of the Whole Agenda Package.

 

Draft Version 2

Draft Version 2 was presnted to Council on February 2, 2016 at a regular Committee of the Whole meeting with a short fall of $88,200.  The following direction was provided to staff to prepare version 3:

Remove the Student Liaison Officer Position $18,100
Remove the marketing outreach associated with the Student Liaison     2,000
Remove additional marketing monies to maintain previous  year budget     5,000

Staff outlined the impact of Tax Rate Changes to Council leading Council to indicate support for a Tax Rate increase for 2016/17, but only after full review of the Operating Budget for other possible savings.

If 1 cent is added to the residential tax rate, it would have the following impact:

  • 87% of residential accounts will see a 1% or lower increase in tax dollars paid.
  • 262 of these accounts (16% overall) will still see a decrease in taxes at an average of $291 or $143, excluding the single largest decline.
  • Within the 87%, the accounts with an increase will see an average increase of $29 compared to what they paid in 2015/16.

  Click here to view the February 2, 2016 Committee of the Whole Agenda Package

 

Draft Version 3

Draft Version 3 was presented to Council on February 16, 2016 at a Special Committee of the Whole meeting as a balanced budget.

Changes made to reach a balanced budget are as follows:

Revenue

Add 1 cent to residential and commercial tax rates* $41,300
Adjust revenue for sale of service (Planning)    4,500
Remove grant related to GIS Summer Student  (8,200)
Reduce estimated festival/events revenue (12,000)
Remove Municipal Physical Activity Leadership Program grant revenue          (25,000)
Add conditional recovery of summer wine bus staff    7,700
Change in Revenue $ 8,200

*Staff included a 1 cent increase to the commercial rate in addition to a 1 cent increase to the residential.  A 1 cent increase to the commercial rate means that:

  • 61 accounts will still play less than they did in 2015/16
  • 4 accounts will have no change
  • 46 accounts will pay more; and
  • Overall, the commercial sector will pay less than they did in 2015/16

Expenditures

Reduction in Professtional Development, net change in salary/wages  $   1,800
Increase estimate of RCMP contract  (37,000)
Remove Student Liason Position and related expenses   20,100
Remove Alternative Justice initative     5,000
Reduce contracted service in solid waste     5,000
Remove GIS Summer Student   12,300
Net reduction in consolidation of two positions (merge Events & Recreation)    55,000
General reduction of marketing budget     5,000
Reduction in operating equipment and supplies in Festival/Events   10,000
Reduction onf Festival/Events program spending as a result of re-org.     6,500
Add seasonal/part-time wages for after school program position  (13,000)
Reduction in employee benefit estimate     1,000
Reduction in estimate for Valley Waste Resource Management    12,000
Increase estimate for Regional Housing Costs   (2,000)
Change in Expenditure $80,000

 

WBDC - Business Development Area Rate

Based on preliminary indications, the budget will include an amount of $39,500 to transfer to the WBDC.  This means:

  • 54% drop in required area rate revenue, or reduction of $45,500 from 2015/16
  • Area rates would drop approximately 14.5 cents in the downtown and 7 centres outside of the downtown (2015/16 rates were 31 cents and 14.5 cents respectively)
  • Average decrease over 111 commercial accounts is $410 per account

  Click here to view February 16, 2016 Special Committee of Whole Agenda Package

  Click here to view the February 16, 2016 Budget Presentation

The 2016/17 Operating, Capital and Water Utility Budgets and Operating Plan will be discussed again on March 1, 2016 at a regular Committee of the Whole meeting with the hopes of being approved at the regular March 22, 2016 Town Council meeting.  Check back for more updates!

Thrive! Community Access Times

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Thrive Free Indoor track Poster

Winter Snowshoe Series

Snowshoe Series Poster 2015 page 002

To book your snowshoes follow this link and fill out the form!

Tender WOL017-2015- RCMP Detachment Renovations

The Town of Wolfville will be accepting tenders for renovation work to be carried out at the RCMP Detachment. Bidders must attend a mandatory site visit on January 12th, 2016 at 10:00am at 363 Main Street, Wolfville, NS.

Electronic Project Documents may be obtained from Karen Outerleys at the Town of Wolfville, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sealed bids clearly marked “WOL017-2015 RCMP Detachment Renovations and addressed to the Town of Wolfville, NS, Attn: Kevin Kerr, Director of Public Works, will be received at the Town Office (359 Main Street) up to 2:00 p.m., local time, on Thursday, January 21st, 2016.

The Town of Wolfville reserves the right to reject any or all tenders, not necessarily accept the lowest tender, or to accept any tender which it may consider to be in its best interest.  The Town of Wolfville also reserves the right to waive formality, informality or technicality in any tender.

Nova Scotia Chorus Girl Turned War Hero

Nova Scotia chorus girl turned war hero paid steep price for helping hide Allied soldiers in WWII

View the remarkable story of a Nova Scotia woman who was willing to give up her own life to save Allied soldiers from the Nazis during World War II.

The National, November 11, 2015

Review of Strategic Plans & Reports

Report Cards depict status of Action Items from the various Reports.  Overall staff reviewed 567 recommendations, and developed Report Cards to display what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done.

The Report Cards for the Reports-Plans-Strategies that were reviewed are as follows (alphabetically listed):

 

Main Street a Finalist in the "Best Places in Canada" Contest

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Wolfville's Main Street has been selected as a finalist in the "Best Places in Canada" contest that aims to celebrate and share the places within our communities that make them memorable and to recognize the efforts of our country's professional planners. A jury comprised of seven professional planners who are members of the Canadian Institute of Planners and are now further assessing these places on a variety of planning merits to determine the winners and the votes placed by members of the public will be tallied to determine the winner of the "People's Choice" award. Both awards will be announced on November 4th, 2015 in conjunction with World Town Planning Day!

View the 2015 finalists