LaSalle Plans to Spend $47.9 million in 2014
The borough of LaSalle plans to spend $44.6 million dollars—$599.87 per resident—for its operations in 2014. That figure is .4% lower than the $621.68/person budgeted last year, but not quite as low as the $590.49/person actually spent by LaSalle in 2012.
Add in the $3.3 million in capital spending approved last year, and the figure goes even higher, for a total of $47.9 million or $644.37 per resident. (Note that borough taxes are paid by property owners rather than on a per resident basis.)
LaSalle mayor Manon Barbe presented the 2014 operating budget to three citizens and one journalist two weeks ago.
“The primary mission of a borough is to offer a favourable municipal environment and act as a facilitator,” said Barbe. “If we were to deliver the lower taxes that some candidates promised during the last election, we would have presented a budget without vision.”
Barbe presented a three-page document covering a total of $44,556,300 in expenses. More than half that figure, 55%, pays for 296.6 employees. The borough also plans to contribute two million dollars to local organizations and will spend more than 10 million dollars hiring outside expertise. Another three million dollars goes for rental, maintenance and repair costs, while five million goes to “non-durable” goods.
Look at the local budget another way, and you’ll find that a third, 15 million dollars, goes for leisure and culture. At least three million dollars is earmarked for activities alone. Another third, or 14 million dollars, covers transportation, including eight million dollars to remove the snow from 188.75 km of roads and some 325 km of sidewalks. Water distribution, sewage treatment and garbage collection makes up only 15% of the budget and another 14% goes for general administration. Seven percent goes to “other” expenses. Public security, urbanism and economic development cover the rest.
On the revenue side, the borough plans to collect two million dollars through permits, tickets, cultural event fees and infrastructure payments. Most of the borough’s funds will come from the central city ($32,704,000 in direct transfers, $3,658,800 in tax room transfer plus $4,749,100 from a local service tax). The borough also plans to withdraw $1,401,700 from its accumulated surplus.
All councillors voted for the budget except Monique Vallée, the only opposition councilor and LaSalle’s representative on the executive committee.
“My vote against it doesn’t mean it’s a bad budget,” said Vallée. “I’m just not comfortable with some of the details yet to be able to support it.”
Vallée, who is part of Denis Coderre’s team, also didn’t appreciate Barbe’s many comments blaming Coderre for hampering her borough’s flexibility.
“For 2014, the new Coderre Administration is granting the boroughs an indexation of their budget credits, but is taking back with the left hand what it is giving with its right hand, by demanding compression equivalent to 2.5% of the boroughs’ payroll or $14 million, which amounts to a freeze on budget credits,” said Barbe. “We perfectly share this concern on the part of the Coderre Administration to deliver a balanced budget; nevertheless, we are disappointed that this new Administration is demanding that the Boroughs contribute $14 million to this effort, because after years of rationalization, the Boroughs have practically no more room to maneuver anymore.”
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Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.