"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday, 9 December 2011

A little More Light On The Subject

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "It's A Novel Notion":

Just a couple of questions.

Was the design cost arrived at by the submission of tenders, or is it an estimate, pie in the sky or otherwise?

Is there any chance that the dollars spent on the design, to say nothing about the actual construction, have a chance of staying in town by using local contractors?

It would be nice to think that our residents might be benefiting somewhat from all of these various tax dollar expenditures.


Council had a recommendation before us at the general committee meeting to award the contract to a consultant for $94,000.

After discussion, three members voted against the recommendation. Five voted in favour.

The decision is not ratified until  the formal Council  meeting on Tuesday.

The actual sidewalk construction  estimate is $300,000. For both sides of Industrial Parkway from north to south.

Provincial regulations do not permit municipalities to give preference to local business.

Design of the roadway dictates the main elements of the sidewalk. Alignment is already set as are grades. A sidewalk is a metre and a half wide and three inches thick. That's a given.

 The construction contractor, who does the digging, is the party responsible for determining locations of underground utilities.

Water and sewer lines must be at least below the frost line which is four feet in these parts. So sidewalk comes nowhere close to utilities.

I don't know if the region retained consultants to design the concrete pads for the bus stops. It wouldn't surprise me considering  two billion dollars of debt they are carrying and the fact they are several levels removed from the people paying the bills.

There is another aspect to  this expenditure at this time. A contract  willalso be approved on Tuesday for a front end loader. I think the two items will be close to $300.000.

It's mid December. These expenditures were budgeted for 2011. The year is almost over. The projects are being squeezed in under the wire.

They were budgeted but not acquired in 2011.

The books are closed on December 31st. Money not spent  in the year budgeted, can't be spent until a new budget is approved.

It means if these two projects were not approved, actual spending for 2011 would be less by that amount. If re-budgeted in 2012, percentage increase in 2012 over actual spending in 2011 would be that much higher than stated.

A flurry of contracts have been awarded in the last few weeks. Including $440,000 for a software program for an asset management tracking system. We have managed fine without it until now and the full cost is not yet known.

These numbers in the final weeks of a fiscal year can really do a number on the appearance of percentage increases in a budget.

Few people are unaware of how governments race to spend money inthe days and weeks before the end of a fiscal year in order to get maximum increases in an upcoming year while distorting appearance of the annal increase.

Staff  initially projected 6.5 % increase for 2012. We had 1.5% increase in assessment growth. The real increase in spending is 8%. The Region's projected increase is  about 3%. That adds up to 11%

Take away all the  last minute expenditures  for goods and projects not required in 2011, the increase in 2012 spending is considerably higher than 6.5%

Education spending  has not increased for several years.The Treasurer sees that as more tax room allowed by the Province to municipalities.

I see it as encouragement to municipalities to keep taxes in check.

No doubt someone else would argue, things change and I should get with the program.

D'you know,gobbledigook does not change. It stays the same.

Nothing makes me angrier than someone not particularly sensible taking me for a fool.... or you either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does the Town of Aurora encumber their expenses? Is encumbrance accounting used at all in the Town?