Town of Lunenburg Scheduled to Vote On 2024/25 Operating Budget This Tuesday

(Lunenburg Town Hall in April 2023. Photo: Jesse Ward)

Lunenburg Council is scheduled to vote this Tuesday to review for the first time as a group, and then vote on approving, the 24/25 General Operating Budget and Water Utility Operating Budget.

This year’s General Operating Budget is balanced with revenues and expenses at $10,825,000, an increase of 8.4 per cent from the 23/24 budget at $9,902,620.

Residential property tax revenue in the 24/25 shows a growth of 8.4 per cent from the 23/24 budget, from $8,676,520 in 23/24 to $9,406,000 in 24/25.

The budget shows the town employs forecasts having 39.3 full time employees in 24/25 with budgeted salaries and benefits of $3,722,600.

You can see the draft budget for yourself in the PDF embedded below.

The process surrounding this year’s budget is a marked departure from previous years, where the budget would be reviewed by the Committee Of The Whole before proceeding to a Council meeting.

The Town of Lunenburg previously defined Committee of the Whole meetings as meetings for “Council to feel they have enough information or have had enough conversation around an issue to be able to make a recommendation to Council for action.” Meetings of this Committee were attended by Council and staff department heads who they can ask questions.

Last year, one week before the budget was voted on at a regular meeting of Council, the Committee of the Whole held an hour-long meeting with a presentation by senior staff to review the budget together.

Council asked detailed questions about budget priorities including increased spending on planning and mandatory expenditures for the RCMP.

The next week, when they prepared to vote on the budget, the Council gallery was completely full with spectators.

Several residents, including Jamie Myra who is now Mayor, gave speeches to Council urging them to change the budget before passing it, based largely on information laid out in detail at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

The “Committee Of The Whole” page no longer exists on the Town of Lunenburg website. The Town has not made any mention of this Committee at meetings this year.

Tomorrow’s regular meeting of Council has a scheduled presentation on the draft budget, and an additional motion under New Business to vote on then approving the budget.

Town staff have confirmed with The Barnacle that the motion on the agenda, “2024/25 Town General Operating Budget – Approval Placeholder”, is intended to be a motion to actually pass the budget as it stands. (Motions can be amended or deferred if a majority of Councillors vote for this, so the budgets may not be approved at all tomorrow, or it could be approved with different numbers.)

You can see the entire agenda on the Town website at this link:

The meeting has been promoted as featuring a “Draft Budget presentation” on Town social media and on the Town website’s “News” page, but the Town has not published any communications to tell residents the agenda also has a motion to actually approve the draft budget.

(Source: Town of Lunenburg, Facebook)

Last year, in advance of the budget being voted on, the Town shared budget highlights and a recording to the Committee of the Whole Meeting regarding the budget (which was also public and advertised in advance) .

The Town also published notice of the date the budget was actually scheduled to be approved, and made it explicitly clear that the budget was being voted on, and not just presented.

The screenshots below detail last year’s Facebook posts by the Town sharing the results of the Committee of The Whole meeting regarding the budget, and advertising the meeting where the budget would be voted on.

(Source: Town of Lunenburg, Facebook)

(Source: Town of Lunenburg, Facebook)


One response to “Town of Lunenburg Scheduled to Vote On 2024/25 Operating Budget This Tuesday”

  1. […] April 22, The Barnacle published the story Town of Lunenburg Scheduled to Vote On 2024/25 Operating Budget This Tuesday, previewing the April 23 […]

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