Treasurer Janet Koziel presented a report to Smiths Falls council on Monday, Oct. 7 for what the town will focus on in the 2020 budget.
Much of the town budget will rely on the results of the upcoming Federal election.
“There’s a lot of things that can change between now and early next year,” Mayor Shawn Pankow said. “Provincially we don’t know how things will hit us yet.”
“The first draft of the town budget is due next week,” CA0 Malcolm Morris said. “All 17 items have a budget allocation attached to them.”
Councillors are concerned over the state of playgrounds and parks in town.
“We have five or six parks and three of them have nothing. The playground put in over in the Sussex area was not in good condition,” Councillor Lorraine Allen said. “Children need to have those things and that’s just one area we need to address and we don’t have any amount of money addressing that right now.”
Improvements to parks and recreation were listed as one of the 17 priority items in the 2019-2022 strategic plan.
“We need an improvement in every one of our community parks in this term,” Mayor Pankow said. “We’ve got 3 more years to complete it.”
Adding green space instead of more play structures was considered as a cost effective option.
“I would suggest we should look more at wild play as opposed to structures,” Councillor Wendy Alford said. “It’s more cost effective than building structures plus green space is friendly to the environment.
Councillor Allen agreed “in the long run it’s going to be a lot cheaper if you make it into green space.
The full 2019 Ontario budget impact report will be released in mid October.