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Wellesley expects status quo budget as process gets underway for 2014

Meet the 2014 Wellesley budget, same as the 2013 Wellesley budget.

After a pair of consultation meetings on January 9 and 13 at the township office, Wellesley councillors are waiting on recommendations from staff for this year’s budget, expected to be along the lines of recent years.

Still in its early stages, the budget is expected to be within the $6-7 million range, said Theresa Bisch, treasurer of the township. Bisch also said there would likely be a small tax increase in line with recent years (the increase was 2.6 per cent in 2013).

“We’re just working with our 10-year forecast of how we’re going to run the township,” said Ward 4 Coun. Paul Hergott on Wednesday, adding that residents shouldn’t expect any significant changes to services.

“I think we’re going to have a status quo [budget] – that’s my sense at this point,” said Jim Olender, councillor for Ward 3. “We don’t want to step back. We’re trying to keep momentum going forward as far as infrastructure – roads and bridges that we have to maintain. We’re trying to factor that in and make sure we’re not going to have to make a substantial increase in anything.”

Olender cites improvements to Herrgott and Moser Young roads, and topcoats on streets within the settlement areas that already have primary coats.

“There are certain things that we have to do: some of the roads that are partially done, they have to have the finish on them, because if you don’t put the finish on them, you might as well not have started them.”

Road projects were put on the backburner this time two years ago, when a sluggish local economy (owing to modest business and construction growth) led to $50,000 in road construction cuts. Cuts were also made to reserves for recreation, emergency evacuation, and a new fire station.

The budget will be a topic of discussion at the next committee meeting, scheduled for January 28 at 6:45 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

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