Budget 2021

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An image of a calculator on a desk, with pieces of paper underneath. The words "2021 Budget" and the Town of Midland logo appear on the left side of the banner image.

Over the next couple of months, Staff will be working on putting together a financial plan for 2021 to present to Council in December 2020, with a recommended maximum 1.5% - 2% blended tax rate increase in mind. Staff will undertake a detailed review of current and potential service levels, planned capital projects, and various financial strategies to achieve this target.

The 2021 Budget Survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.

The Draft 2021 Budget was presented to Council on February 3, 2021, which included a Draft 2021 Budget Recommendation presentation from Town of Midland CFO Michael Jermey

2021 Budget Schedule

  • February 3 @ 7 p.m. - Council presented with Draft 2021 Budget
  • February 11 @ 6 p.m. - Budget presentations by Agencies, Boards & Commissions
  • February 17 @ 7 p.m. - Public Meeting to hear public input - can be watched live on the Town of Midland YouTube Channel.
    • Anyone wishing to speak during the Public Meeting must email the Clerk's Office at clerks@midland.ca by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16.
  • February 22-24 @ 10 a.m. - Budget Deliberations - can be watched live on the Town of Midland YouTube Channel.

Please note - all meetings will take place virtually via Zoom

If you have questions about the budget/budget process, you can submit them using out Q&A tool below, or by emailing budget@midland.ca

Over the next couple of months, Staff will be working on putting together a financial plan for 2021 to present to Council in December 2020, with a recommended maximum 1.5% - 2% blended tax rate increase in mind. Staff will undertake a detailed review of current and potential service levels, planned capital projects, and various financial strategies to achieve this target.

The 2021 Budget Survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.

The Draft 2021 Budget was presented to Council on February 3, 2021, which included a Draft 2021 Budget Recommendation presentation from Town of Midland CFO Michael Jermey

2021 Budget Schedule

  • February 3 @ 7 p.m. - Council presented with Draft 2021 Budget
  • February 11 @ 6 p.m. - Budget presentations by Agencies, Boards & Commissions
  • February 17 @ 7 p.m. - Public Meeting to hear public input - can be watched live on the Town of Midland YouTube Channel.
    • Anyone wishing to speak during the Public Meeting must email the Clerk's Office at clerks@midland.ca by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16.
  • February 22-24 @ 10 a.m. - Budget Deliberations - can be watched live on the Town of Midland YouTube Channel.

Please note - all meetings will take place virtually via Zoom

If you have questions about the budget/budget process, you can submit them using out Q&A tool below, or by emailing budget@midland.ca

Q&A

Do you have a question? Don't hesitate to ask one! We'll get you an answer as soon as possible. 
(Questions may be answered publicly or privately, depending on the subject matter.)

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    Why is the town buying a machine to roll asphalt and grind stumps when these services are available from local contractors? (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    It is often more efficient and cost effective to have certain pieces of equipment on-hand.  The Town does contract out services where warranted and cost effective. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    Can I get some clarification on what happened with the $10.5M from the MPUC money as it relates to the King Street construction project and how it shows up in the 2021 budget? Were these funds returned? (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    Council approved up to $10.5M of internal bridge financing from the Community Wide Initiatives Reserve.  An internal note receivable was approved outlining the applicable interest rate and repayment plan.  Approximately $2M (of the $10.5M) was required to cash flow the project in 2020 before the external debt financing was secured in November 2020.  The full amount of $2M plus associated interest was repaid to the CWIR as specified in the note receivable.  As the King Street project is now substantially complete, there are no further plans to access CWIR funds for this project.

    As noted, a $12M debenture was issued in 2020 to finance this project.  The total annual debt servicing costs which appear in the draft 2021 budget are approximately $620K funded from various sources. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    Why are water and wastewater rates going up by 9% (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    The 2021 draft budget for water and wastewater reflect rate increases of 5% and 4% respectively.  The rate increase is primarily to ensure funding is available for the replacement/renewal/rehab of infrastructure that, in many cases, is beyond its useful life. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    It appears the salary and benefits for the Town's CAO are increasing by 38%. Is this correct? Also, why is the CAO's budget for training, travel, meetings, and conferences increasing by 322% (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    The budget recommendation in this area encompasses the CAO and any staff required to support the office. The previous CAO was under contract and the current CAO is a full-time employee.  The overall budget has been reduced by 19% year over year. For clarity, the CAO's salary remains at the level offered when he joined the organization and he has declined any salary increases or claiming of any overtime that is available to him under town policy. The increase reflected in the salary component for this area is a consolidation of expenses for all staff in the office and includes budget for salary and benefits. As detailed in the CAO’s 100+ Day Report Back, as the CAO office focuses on a customer service strategy, funds in this budget may be used to support additional responsibilities by existing staff. 

    The travel/training/conference budget reflects a plan to represent and engage with other levels of government and municipalities to seek support, share and retrieve best practises which will benefit the town’s strategic initiatives. While the pandemic is expected to impact physical travel and attendance an increasing amount of virtual options are becoming available and the CAO's office will make every effort to minimize costs of anyone taking advantage of these important forums. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    I want to know if it can be stated/secured that youth minor sports will always pay the youth minor sports fees to the arena. I request this because a non-profit organization can't survive with an unexpected 20% increase in expenses like MMHA did this year. We were told to pay the adult fee instead of the youth fee. If the arena is losing 1 million a year, you need to look at why that is. Rent out your space more, maybe you need to advertise better. You can't expect to make that money from non-profit organizations. This year alone MMHA has started to lose our members to Coldwater MHA because registration is a few hundred dollars less compared to MMHA. Their ice is cheaper. The youth rate in Orillia is cheaper than NSSRC. Our members do not have to play in Midland, they can just as easily go to Penetang, Coldwater or Elmvale. (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    The 2021 user rate schedule includes separate rate bands for the following categories:

    • Minor Sports/Youth Groups/Schools
    • Adult/Senior Not-for-profit
    • Private and Commercial Groups

    The 2021 draft budget reflects a 5% increase ($7) over the 2020 rates.  The price may continue to change to reflect the cost of providing the service and prevailing market rates.  User rates are subject to Council approval. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    Thank you for the information on how to find MBLD budget figures within the Midland budget. We have spent many hours trying to find all of MBLD figures and to no avail. Can you help, with page numbers for the following, Consulting Services 110.000.00 Engineering remediation 50,000.00 Seawall engineering 50,000.00 Functional Review 50,000.00 Marketing 25,000.00 Marketing / Branding 22.000.00 Thanks for you assistance (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    The 2021 Budget Binder provides a summary of the MBLDC operating and capital budget.

    The Board presented details of Corporations' proposed 2021 budget at the Special Meeting of Council held on September  16, 2020.  The presentation is available through the Town's website at MBL Presentation Sept. 16, 2020.  (Answer provided by Staff)

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    If MBL is a separate organization, why is the Town of Midland accounting for their budget the way they do? (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    The Town of Midland is the sole shareholder of the MBLDC.  The Town is obligated to provide core funding to the Corporation for operating costs incurred in connection with its activities as the Corporation is economically dependent on the Town.  However, the Corporation's annual operating budget requires Council approval.  The Town's expectation is that the core funding will be recovered through the proceeds received from the sale of the site.

    The MBL site is an asset of the Town and is not owned by MBLDC.  Funding for these projects is provided by the Town in most instances.  The Board manages some projects in relation to the property but again, Council approval is required. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    I may be completely off the wall here, but I understand that managing email requests can be quite time consuming for the municipality, so I have a suggestion which I hope can either be useful on it's own, or initiate some brainstorming and implementation that makes managing the volume of mail for effective and less expensive. I was actually inspired by this budget email process, where there is a promise of a reply with a preferred time frame, and a maximum time fame (in time for the actual budget deliberations). This combined with the automated response, helps reassure me that the email has in fact arrived. The other important aspect is the collation of sufficiently similar enquiries and combined responses to multiple emails. This is certainly is more efficient for staff, and, for myself, I don't need a personalized response to a common question, although there are times when personal touch matters or helps. So the idea is to implement this type of approach for most if not all emails that enter the system from 'the public' or are otherwise unsolicited and not e.g. urgent provincial emails. This includes: • While an acknowledgement email may not be completely automated, having a template that indicates a 'preferred time frame', and 'call back if you don't get response by' time frame, along with a 'priority level' indication (and maybe a brief reason, preferably (at least from a staff perspective, I think) from a list form response. • Combining responses where possible (so multiple people get the same answer, and one person could get one email answering a number of concerns). • When a question is 'out of scope' or would take a long time to answer, indicating that quickly (in the case of a long time to answer, with the option to cancel the enquiry or request to be pointed to self-service means of answering the question). • If there is a concern with a particular individual, communicating the concern to them, so that they can better manage their interactions with the town • In the case an individual has been a problem in the past, but, for example, was having a mental health crisis, and indicates recover is in process, or has been reached, a means to 'normalize' relations with the town and not be 'forever in the bad books'. • And of course, evaluation on an annual basis (or less if you feel it helpful) of the effectiveness of the approach to handling emails. (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    Thank-you for your input.  We will take this into consideration for future budgets and for other customer service responses. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    There has been much mention of the need to not try and meet budget concerns via excessive belt-tightening, which leads to less opportunities to growth, which leads to reduced budgets, etc. Which makes sense if Midland is able to increase growth rates, but my question is what is the actual plan to increase growth? The reason I ask is that it is a lot easier to buy in to the notion of 'investing in growth' if there is a clear plan to increase growth. In my opinion, absent a clearly articulated plan for improving the growth rate, it's a bit of a red herring, and doesn't make sense for the economic realities of a (presently) low growth community. (Question submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    Good growth is growth that supports the strategic vision of this council and provides our taxpayers with relief and jobs.  This begins with putting the right infrastructure and master plans in place and clearing as much 'red tape' as possible. (Answer provided by Staff)

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    I was reading an article on Facebook from Our Midland.ca about the astronomical raises some people at the Town are possibly getting. “The CAO is getting an astronomical $81,156 or 37.9%”. In this pandemic, this is ridiculous. Even without the pandemic, this is ridiculous. A 37.9% increase in a person’s salary? What do normal working people get, a couple of percent or less possibly? Some people have lost their jobs, my son included. Some people are having trouble paying their mortgage/rent, buying food and other necessities. I think you need to take a hard look at this and think about what is fair to the people of this Town. Our taxes should be held at a small, or no, increase right now, and exorbitant salary increases should be put aside. (Questions submitted via Budget@Midland.ca)

    5 months ago

    The budget recommendation in this area encompasses the CAO and any staff required to support the office. The previous CAO was under contract and the current CAO is a full-time employee.  The overall budget has been reduced by 19% year over year. For clarity, the CAO’s salary remains at the level offered when he joined the organization and he has declined any salary increases or claiming of any overtime that is available to him under Town policy. The increase reflected in the salary component for this area is a consolidation of expenses for all staff in the office and includes budget for salary and benefits. As detailed in the CAO’s 100+ Day Report Back, as the CAO office focuses on a customer service strategy, funds in this budget may be used to support additional responsibilities by existing staff. 

    The travel/training/conference budget reflects a plan to represent and engage with other levels of government and municipalities to seek support, share and retrieve best practises which will benefit the town’s strategic initiatives. While the pandemic is expected to impact physical travel and attendance an increasing amount of virtual options are becoming available and the CAOs office will make every effort to minimize costs of anyone taking advantage of these important forums. (Answer provided by Staff)

Page last updated: 22 February 2021, 08:13