Agenda Contents

Budget Steering Committee

    Meeting Type:Budget
    Meeting ID:2018-08
    Meeting Date:Fri February 23, 2018 01:00 PM
    Location:Council Chambers, 360 Pitt Street, Cornwall, Ontario
    Chair:CN=Denis Carr/OU=CITYHALL/O=CityCornwall
    Prepared By:Cindy Delgreco, Financial & Risk Management Coordinator



    Chair, Councillor Carr called the meeting to order at 1:05 pm. A quorum was present.


    Council Committee Members:
    Claude McIntosh, Councillor
    Elaine MacDonald, Councillor
    Leslie O'Shaughnessy, Mayor

    Maurice Dupelle, Councillor
    Bernadette Clement, Councillor
    (arrived at 1:15pm)
    Mark A. MacDonald, Councillor
    André Rivette, Councillor
    (left at 4:00pm)
    Carilyne Hébert, Councillor
    Justin Towndale, Councillor
    David Murphy, Councillor
    (left at 4:05pm)
    Denis Carr, Councillor

    Maureen Adams, Chief Administrative Officer
    Tracey Bailey, General Manager, Financial Services
    Paul Scrimshaw, Accounting Manager/Deputy Treasurer
    Justin Cordell, Budget and Cash Coordinator
    Mark Boileau, General Manager, Planning, Development and Recreation

    Geoff Clarke, General Manager Corporate Services
    Stacey Ferguson, Administrator, Social & Housing Services
    Wayne Markell, Acting Paramedic Chief
    Norm Quenneville, Manager, Glen Stor Dun Lodge
    Bruce Donig, Deputy Fire Chief
    Len Tapp, Division Manager, Transit Services
    James Fawthrop, Division Manager, Parks and Recreation
    Michael Fawthrop, Division Manager, Infrastructure Planning

    Manon Levesque, City Clerk
    Cindy Delgreco, Financial & Risk Management Coordinator


    As there were no additions or deletions, the Agenda was approved as presented.

    Moved By: Councillor Rivette
    Seconded By: Councillor M. MacDonald

    Motion: Carried


    No disclosure of interest was identified.


    Motion to adopt the following Minutes as presented.

    1 February 16, 2018 Budget Steering Committee Meeting
    Click for detail --> February 16, 2018 Budget Steering Committee Meeting

    Moved By: Councillor McIntosh
    Seconded By: Councillor E. MacDonald

    Motion: Carried


    The following consent items were requested to be moved to Communications for discussion;

    1 Blended Subsidy Rates (2015-2018)

    2 Survey - Request for Feedback from the Community

    Motion to receive consent item 3 as presented.

    Moved By: Councillor Rivette
    Seconded By: Councillor Murphy

    Motion: Carried

    Councillor Rivette asked how long the survey would be up on the website. Ms. Adams indicated the survey would remain up until March 5th but the most responses typically come in the first days of it being available. Ms. Bailey said that survey was released on Wednesday (Feb 21) and as of Friday morning, there had been approximately 560 responses. Ms. Adams noted that the Standard-Freeholder had prepared a survey and would provide their results to the Committee.


    Ms. Adams outlined that today's meeting would begin with reviewing the Capital Budget submissions for 2018.

    Councillor McIntosh asked where the Traffic Circle fit into the Capital submission. Ms. Adams noted that the Traffic Circle study falls under Infrastructure Planning and is planned to be financed. Ms. Adams also noted that the City will only borrow the funds once the project is complete.

    Motion to remove the Traffic Circle EA Study ($250K) from the 2018 Budget Submission.

    Moved By: Mayor O'Shaughnessy
    Seconded By: Councillor Murphy

    Discussion took place around the removal of the traffic circle. Mr. M. Fawthrop commented that the City is one of only 2 or 3 municipalities that have a traffic circle. It is hoped that by completing the EA for the traffic circle that it would put the municipality in a good position to qualify for funding through the Connecting Link program (funding at 90%) for the construction portion of the project. Mr. M. Fawthrop noted that this funding program may not be available in future years. A discussion regarding roundabouts compared to the traffic circle took place. Mr. M. Fawthrop said that maintaining the landscaping to some level of it's current appearance would be an important part of the EA study.

    A recorded vote on this matter resulted as follows:

    Votes For = 7 Votes Against = 4

    Mayor O’Shaughnessy Councillor E. MacDonald
    Councillor McIntosh Councillor Clement
    Councillor Dupelle Councillor Hébert
    Councillor M. MacDonald Councillor Carr
    Councillor Rivette
    Councillor Towndale
    Councillor Murphy

    Motion: Carried
    Ms. Bailey spoke to the Culvert Replacement project ($866k), in which the City received notification that it was unsuccessful in it's application for a grant ($754K). Ms. Bailey requested the committee fund the project by borrowing the full amount of $866K for the project. This would free up $112K in gas tax funding which could be reallocated to Asphalt Resurfacing. This would reduce $112K from the tax base and change the net tax requirement for Asphalt Resurfacing from $320K to $208K.

    Councillor Clement asked if we knew why our application was turned down. Mr. M. Fawthrop indicated that they are in the process of scheduling a debrief. He further explained that the OCIF funding envelope is decreasing and they are moving the application component to a formula component.

    Motion to borrow for the Culvert Replacement project and move Gas Tax funding ($112K) to Asphalt Resurfacing.

    Moved By: Councillor Towndale
    Seconded By: Councillor Murphy
    Motion: Carried
    Councillor Rivette expressed his disappointment with the Raisin Region Conservation Authority in not contributing any funds to the City for these types of projects.

    Motion to prepare a formal document to the Conservation Authority requesting funding for the Culvert Replacement project.

    Moved By: Councillor Rivette
    Seconded By: Councillor M. MacDonald
    Motion: Carried
    Mayor O'Shaughnessy asked how much more the City will be paying for debt in 2018. Ms. Bailey responded that the City budgeted $3,575,846 in 2017 and $4,080,414 in 2018, an increase of $505K. Mayor O'Shaughnessy noted that the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) estimated debt payments for 2018 of $4.22M. Ms. Bailey replied that we are not borrowing as much as the LTFP had forecasted and that borrowing included in the 2018 submission is based on the LTFP's debt strategy.

    Ms. Adams brought the Committee to page 46 of the LTFP (overhead screen) which describes the City's debt servicing costs as a percentage of total revenues. The chart is presented with Cornwall in relation to that of its comparable municipalities. The chart indicates that the City is low in comparison and would suggest the City's ability to issue additional debt. Mayor O'Shaughnessy said the City of Cornwall needs to find a City of Cornwall solution, and our ability to pass on increases to our residents who have a median average household income of just over $40,000 a year. The Mayor noted that every one of the comparable municipalities have the same infrastructure deficit that we have, and are facing the same struggles that we are. The LTFP gives us an understanding of where we are, but is not the only thing we need to look at, everything needs to be looked at. The question becomes where do we want to go today. Councillor Rivette noted that the household income is one of the lowest in Ontario. The cost of living is going up and with seniors on fixed income, this is very important to understand. Mayor O'Shaughnessy is hoping to meet with the Minister of Finance very soon. Mayor O'Shaughnessy asked Mr. M. Fawthrop if we are in any worst condition than that of other municipalities? Mr. M. Fawthrop responded that we certainly have a large backlog, but we are no worse than any other municipality of our size.

    Councillor Towndale asked about OCIF funding for the extension of Nick Kaneb Drive. Mr. M. Fawthrop replied that we are hoping that a funding program comes out that we can apply for. We are financing our portion to start the design process, but won't go ahead until a funding program comes out. The question was asked on how much would we be financing this year for this project. Mr. M. Fawthrop replied that we budgeted $600K in 2018.

    To simplify the process of reviewing Capital submissions the committee agreed to start at the first page outlining capital (pg. 29 of agenda) and review each project.

    Councillor E. MacDonald asked how there is a -7.8K on the tax base for Water St/Montreal Rd intersection. Ms. Bailey noted that the Main Street Revitalization funding of $67.8K was applied to the 2017 ($30K ) and 2018 ($30K) budgets for a total of $60K creating the difference of $7.8K. This will be reconciled with the Asphalt Resurfacing budget.

    Councillor Rivette asked about the Nick Kaneb Extension project, $1.2M grant and $600K to finance. Ms. Bailey responded that is correct, we would not borrow until the the expenses were incurred. In the 2018 budget, we have one month of financing costs at $7K. Councillor Towndale asked about the EA for this project. Mr. M. Fawthrop responded that the EA for this project is completed. It has a 10 year duration/life-span (to 2024).

    When asked about the Traffic Signal Upgrade project, Mr. M. Fawthrop said that the project is typically to replace the poles, signals and controllers. We spend $300K annually to replace/upgrade traffic signals. Mr. M. Fawthrop responded that traffic signal upgrades are planned at Water and Sydney ($180K) and at Water and Augustus ($120K), signals that are approximately 50 years old. It costs approximately $300K to complete 2 intersections.

    Councillor Rivette asked if the $240K for Active Transportation could be reduced to do just the $100K from gas tax funding, reducing $140K from the tax base. Mr. M. Fawthrop indicated it could be possible. Ms. Bailey explained that after the budget book was provided to Council, the City received notice that it would receive funding through the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycle (OMCC) program. Mr. M. Fawthrop said to qualify for the OMCC program the City would need to contribute $100K to be eligible to receive $400K. Ms. Adams noted that by reducing the tax base funding by $40K and reallocating the $100K gas tax funding to asphalt resurfacing, we would have the project set up to meet the financial requirements of the program.

    Motion to remove $40K from tax base in Active Transportation-Bicycle Infrastructure and move gas tax funding of $100K in Active Transportation-Bicycle Infrastructure to Asphalt Resurfacing, reducing tax base funding by a total of $140K ($40K Active Transportation and $100K Asphalt Resurfacing).

    Moved By: Councillor Murphy
    Seconded By: Councillor McIntosh
    Motion: Carried
    Councillor Murphy asked about the sidewalk at Pitt and Tollgate at the south-west side. Councillor E. MacDonald said that project originated from Cornwall Area and Housing (CAHC). It has been difficult for people to move from bus stops to CAHC through the traffic; perceived to be a safety measure.

    Councillor Andre Rivette asked about funding from the senior levels of government for capital projects at the Landfill Site. Ms. Adams said that she did not think so, that the City receives funding from Waste Diversion Ontatio (WDO) and it has been increasing. We are allowed to apply gas tax funding to this area, but have chose to apply gas tax funding to other projects.
    Councillor Murphy asked if the Aquatic Centre and Civic Complex flooring project could be split and completed over two years. Mr. Boileau replied that this is a reasonable idea. Mr. J. Fawthrop indicated that this could be an option. Based on the condition of the flooring, the Civic Complex flooring would be competed in 2018. The Aquatic Centre flooring project would be budgeted in 2019. Councillor Clement asked if we would we lose any benefit if we split the project. Mr. J. Fawthrop replied that it would not be a bulk purchase because the flooring materials would be different.

    Motion to split the flooring projects over 2 years (2018 $55K and 2019 $55K) thereby reducing the 2018 tax base by $55K.

    Moved By: Councillor Murphy
    Seconded By: Councillor Towndale
    Motion: Carried
    Discussion took place regarding the sound system at the Civic Complex. Mr. J. Fawthrop said that it is possible to delay the project. We had to make some repairs to the system. The sound system is on the capital list purely because of the age of the system. We could run another year with the existing sound system and hope that it continues to function as it has been.

    Motion to remove the Civic Complex Public Address / Arena Sound System thereby reducing the 2018 tax base by $55K.

    Moved By: Councillor McIntosh
    Seconded By: Councillor Murphy
    Motion: Carried
    Councillor Murphy asked for more information on the King George Park washroom project. Mr. J. Fawthrop explained that the City purchased land for the Marleau Ave. project which included two portable buildings. One portable was kept to be re-purposed for a washroom at King George Park. The $50K project includes moving the portable ($25K) and renovating it to a washroom facility ($25K). The portable could stay in place. If the land sells, the portable will need to be moved. Recreation could continue the rental of porta-potties for King George.

    Motion to reduce the budget to $25K for the purpose of moving the portable building thereby reducing the tax base by $25K.

    Moved By: Councillor Murphy
    Seconded By: Mayor O'Shaughnessy
    Motion: Carried
    Discussion took place around the 2 play structure: Benson Centre (new) and Ashwood Green Park (replacement). Mr. Boileau commented that the Recreational Master Plan recommends that we replace two structures per year and currently we are replacing one per year.

    Discussion took place regarding the play structure planned for the Benson Centre. Mr. Boileau commented that while it is not the replacement of a piece of equipment, there are very few things that are actually development in the Recreation budget as opposed to maintenance. Most of the budget is about maintaining what we have.

    Motion to not install a play structure proposed for the Benson Centre.

    Moved By: Councillor McIntosh
    Seconded By: Mayor O'Shaughnessy
    Motion: Defeated
    Motion to move the play structure proposed for the Benson Centre to the next park listed for replacement.

    Moved By: Councillor Towndale
    Seconded By: Councillor Dupelle
    Motion: Carried
    Motion to reduce Glen Stor Dun Lodge (GSDL) budget in half (approx. $205K)
    Moved By: Councillor Murphy
    Seconded By: Councillor M. MacDonald
    Motion: Rescinded after discussion
    Councillor Dupelle asked what impact this would have. Mr. Quenneville, GSDL Administrator spoke to the Capital Budget submission for 2018. He noted that a net reduction of $205K to the City would require a gross reduction to capital in the amount of $290K due to the County funding. Mr. Quenneville further explained that the items listed in the 2018 Capital are items in need of attention. Some of these items are original to 1994 when the Lodge was built and these areas to be addressed are focused on the residents.

    Mayor O'Shaughnessy asked to go back the $141K for replacing of defibrillators. Ms. Adam's asked that Ms. Bailey explain the process in place for Land Ambulance capital. Ms. Bailey explained that capital for Land Ambulance is funded through the Land Ambulance Reserve. The reserve is then paid back through contributions from the operating budget over the life of the asset. The contribution is the annual amortization of the asset and is funded 50% by the province and the remaining balance of 50% is then split 60-40 with the Counties. Acting Chief Markell in response to a question from the Mayor at the last Budget meeting, commented that the vendor is mandated to take these units back, the vendor incurs any associated costs, and that there is no value for us to keep the units.

    Councillor McIntosh asked about the $60K for the Fire Training - Site Preparation. Deputy Chief Donig said they are asking for $60K from the tax base for the facility at 244 Saunders, the old soccer bubble. Deputy Chief Donig provided the breakdown of the project: $10K to move a hydrant from across the street, $25K for fencing for the site, $10K for miscellaneous equipment as part of the construction of the container, and $15 for the utilities. The plan is to keep it modular, so that this can be disassembled and reassembled at the new facility planned for 2021-2022.

    Councillor Dupelle asked about the Accounting System upgrade and the Email upgrade. Ms. Bailey explained the accounting upgrade is in year two of its upgrade (planned over 2 years). The email upgrade involves changing Lotus Notes to Outlook for compatibility with SharePoint. There would be a cost of $66K to place Lotus Notes on the Sharepoint platform. We would not have the $66K cost if we changed to MS Outlook.

    Councillor McIntosh questioned if the Video Surveillance for Transit was required because of the new above ground tanks and inquired about the current system. Mr. Tapp indicated the system will be used for the new tanks but will be monitoring the whole building. The current system in place was a used system given to Transit by Municipal Works. The system is very outdated and in need of replacement.

    Councillor Hébert asked if a summary of the changes made to this point could be shown on the overhead. Ms. Bailey noted, from the slide shown, that with the changes made to date the average residential household would increase by approximately $146.05 or 6.32%.

    Councillor E. MacDonald asked about the blended subsidy rate report. Ms. Adam responded that the report is to demonstrate that in those areas that we charge fees, and understanding that those programs are also subsidized by the tax base, it shows the amount funded by the tax base and the cost overall for the operation; the subsidized rate from the tax base can be determined. Councillor E. MacDonald responded that the basic understanding to lower the subsidy rate would be to increase fees. Ms. Adams said you could, though how much you move on the fee could impact revenue, as well.

    Councillor Towndale requested a report that would provide a breakdown to the budget of $120K for account 3170 Accommodation/Meals (page 1-7 in the budget binder). Administration to report back.


    There were no New Business items.

    Listing of Reports

    At the call of the Chair.

    The Budget Steering Committee meeting was adjourned at 4:15 pm.