Capital project budget overruns expected; reserve dollars to cover portion of cost

KENILWORTH – An update on township capital projects, first alluded to back in May, was presented to Wellington North council on Sept. 11, along with a request to fund anticipated budget overruns.

Township finance director Jerry Idialu presented council on Sept. 11 with a capital budget update summarizing where various capital projects are at – and the associated financial implications.

CAO Brooke Lambert indicated back in May and June such a report would be forthcoming in response to some councillors’ concerns with over-budget road projects.

“It will also be appropriate if we need to adjust our capital plan for the rest of the year,” Lambert said at the time.

According to Idialu’s report and a presentation to council, 81 per cent of the township’s capital projects are either completed or in progress. The remaining 19% are either on hold or cancelled.

Of 62 total capital projects — valued at $16.86 million, and ranging from the design of a new Mount Forest fire station to road paving — 16 are completed, 34 are in various stages of progress, nine are on hold, and three are cancelled.

Those cancelled include sidewalk and trail master plans, and multi-year budget software.

Forecasted to go over-budget by a collective total of $237,298 are: a road condition assessment, growth management strategy update, columbarium at the Mount Forest Cemetery, record management software, IT network design, a fire service review and the reconstruction of Cork Street in Mount Forest.

The question then becomes how to pay for those overages. Staff looked to use funds already approved by council for the cancelled and held projects, totalling $217,882.

Council voted to allow staff to tap into tax dollars in the township’s general reserve to pay for the remaining $19,416.