Delegates Have Their Say on Milton’s 2019 Municipal Budget

2020 budget process begins with a telephone, and online survey

By: Laura Steiner

Milton Council’s first meeting of the 2018-22 term of council was held December 10.  There was only one item on the agenda: the 2019 municipal budget.

The meeting was Council’s chance to hear from the public on what they wanted in it.  Delegates included Eric Chabot, chair of the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) Amie Lear, president of the Milton Marlins, and Malcolm Kelly, president of the Milton Winterhawks.

Chabot spoke about the Milton Street Festival.  The Town of Milton is requesting that the DBIA take over full responsibility for the event.  The one-day festival costs $136,500, and Town of Milton puts $33,315 in staff resources to help in the organization.  “If the town removes itself from the Downtown Milton Street Festival, there will be no downtown Milton Street Festival,” Chabot said.   The festival brings an estimated economic impact of $6.8 million/ year.

Lear, and Kelly were presenting on the proposed increase in user fees a further 1-5% on top of a previously approved 2.3%  increase.  Pool rentals according to 2018 rates are  at $129/41/ hr rental, and could increase a further $4.26-9.44/ hr.  Ice rentals are according to 2018 rates $285.17/hr, and could increase a further $9.40-20.81/ hr.  “Keeping our children active is probably the single greatest thing we can probably achieve,” Kelly said.  Both organizations would have to pass on these increases to their participants.

This year’s budget committee chair is Ward 4 Regional Councillor Zeeshan Hamid.  The Municipal Act states that final approval must come in the year to which it applies.  Council will meet again January 14, 2019 to approve it.