It’s another round of budget deliberation in Brockton this evening.
Mayor Chris Peabody says this budget process has been challenging one, but progress is being made.
The budget process began with a staff recommended 10 percent increase and since that time, Peabody says Council and staff having been working together to whittle that number down to a more acceptable level.
In 2019 Brockton Council approved a 5.5% increase, Peabody says he doesn’t believe Council has the appetite to accept such a high increase for a second year in a row.
Originally Peabody had hoped to keep the tax rate increase around the 2% mark, however as the budget talks continue a 3 to 4 percent increase may be more realistic for Brockton.
With 500 km of road to maintain throughout Brockton there is no shortage of road infrastructure projects in need of attention.
Over the years, Peabody says Brockton’s roads budget has suffered, this is particularly true for some of Brockton’s gravel roads that are very problematic during the Spring thaw.
To address pot holes and soft roads, the 2020 budget includes 200 thousand dollars for the purchase of two packers that will be pulled behind the grader to pack down the gravel roads.
A 3 percent increase in MPAC assessments means that Brockton has an extra 400 thousand in assessment dollars to work with during this year’s budget.
Provincial grant dollars have also remained stable for this budget year.
As for policing, Brockton’s biggest budget it is only going up by 10 thousand dollars thanks to an increase in Court Security and Prisoner Transportation funding. (proposed budget of 1.9 million)