Council gets first look at $13.2-million draft capital budget for 2021

ELORA – In preparation for December’s budget deliberations and decisions, Centre Wellington staff presented its 2021 draft capital budget to councillors at a committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 8.

The draft budget proposes a total $13.2 million in projects in 2021.

About $2 million will be covered by outside funding sources such as development charges, gas tax revenue and OLG funding.

However, it was noted that some subsidies did not come through and OLG revenues are expected to be lower than usual due to the extended closure of casinos this year.

Two projects totalling $1.7 million will be funded by debt financing– $1.34 million for servicing on the Dickson Drive employment lands; and $400,000 to increase capacity at the F2 well. Costs will be recouped from future land sales.

The rest will come from reserve funds.

There are 80 projects in the draft plan. Staff outlined the most significant and councillors dug in deeper with questions.

Elora Ice pad replacement – $1.3 million (from the OLG capital reserve)

Pat Newson, managing director of community services, said the cooling coils under the concrete floor are at the end of their life expectancy and need to be replaced.

That will necessitate replacing the floor as well, but a new system will allow the refrigeration room to be relocated from the lobby to a space removed from the public.

The work would be done over the summer and be ready for ice next fall.

1st Line between Wellington Road 19 and Sideroad 10 – $320,000 ($280,000 from development charges and $32,000 from the general capital reserve)

The 1.8 km stretch of gravel road will be paved.

“A lot of residents will be pleased it’s being paved,” said councillor Stephen Kitras.

Sideroad 10 from Wellington Road 7 to Gerrie Road – $200,000 ($167,000 from the general capital reserve and $32,100 from the OLG reserve)

“We’re using recycled material we salvaged from the St. Andrew St. East reconstruction,” explained Colin Baker, managing director of infrastructure services. The salvaged bedrock was crushed and will be used for the road’s base.

St. George St. East – $2.115 million ($951,000 from gas tax reserve, $119,000 from OLG reserve, $420,000 from water reserve, $425,000 from wastewater reserve)

“This is a full road reconstruction with water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and sidewalk on one side,” said Baker.

“We’re now looking at design options.”

Baker said there will be a virtual public information centre meeting to discuss options, hear concerns and collect ideas as staff work through the design phase.

“This is the biggest project of the year,” Baker said.

Servicing the Dickson Drive employment lands – $1.34 million ($820,000 for roads, $285,000 for water and $235,000 for wastewater infrastructure; this project will be funded from debt)

Phase one of the servicing project will begin around the old house on the property and the nearby pond and work east.

Servicing is to be done in 2021 and the land ready to sell in 2022.

Phase 2 completes the infrastructure work and will cost approximately $935,000. Phase 3 is when roads will be asphalted and will cost $390,000. This will happen after all the lots are sold.

What’s next?

Staff was not able to present the 10-year plan for bridges and major culverts before the meeting adjourned.

Another pre-budget meeting is slated for Oct. 5 to look at the draft capital forecast, debt financing calculations and projections, and reserves and reserve fund policies.

This is also when residents register as delegations to council to discuss budget priorities.

The draft budget book is to be available on Nov. 20.

Budget deliberation meetings are planned for Dec. 1 and 3 with Dec. 7 marked as an extra meeting date if required.