County to fast track budget process

WELLINGTON COUNTY – County officials plan to get a jump on the 2020 budget process in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because we’re in a bit of an unknown situation … we’ve decided to have a budget meeting in September moving that process quite a bit forward from normal,” said councillor Chris White, who chairs the administration, finance and human resources committee at the April 30 council meeting.

White said “we want to get a real good handle on where we may be sitting at that particular time and making decisions on how we’re going at the end of the year and what we’re going to be doing next year.

“Clearly there’s a couple of roads of thought,” White added. “One is we might really want to begin to kickstart the economy and move things forward with federal and provincial money and have jobs ready so we need to get all of council on board and make sure we can all point in that direction, as opposed to pulling back and maybe slowing the economy down.”

White noted, “there are some big decisions to be made and we decided by September we should have a pretty good idea what the impact is on county finances.”

While the county’s committees are constantly reviewing budget numbers, county council usually holds its first full-county budget meeting in early January and passes the budget at its regular meeting at the end of the month.