• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion posts another budget surplus for 2013


JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said a portion of the city’s budget surplus for 2013 will be put into the upcoming 2015 budget to keep any projected tax increase at a minimal level.

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion posted a budgetary surplus of just over $4.26 million based on revenues totaling $64,993,690 minus expenses of $60,667,337 for calendar year 2013, announced Mayor Guy Pilon at the November 3 council meeting. Part of the surplus came from a reimbursement of $473,000 from the CIT La Presqu’Île regional transit service and $1.2 million from tax assessments related to new construction starts and indicates the city is on a solid financial footing, according to Pilon.

The city’s tendency to post a surplus each year is based on a conservative approach taken by the finance department when preparing the municipality’s annual budget by underestimating the possible revenues that will be collected annually in case revenue from an expected source doesn’t materialize, said Pilon.

“We want to work this way,” Pilon told Your Local Journal. “We don’t want to put numbers that we may not be able to reach at the end of the year. Then, when we report a surplus we put a part of it into next year’s budget to help keep the residential tax rate low. We try to handle our finances like a good parent does.”

Most of the 2013 surplus will be put into the city’s total accumulated surplus budget reserve that now amounts to about $17.5 million and which is used as a contingency fund in case an emergency situation arises that would require an unexpected disbursement of capital. About $1.1 million of the surplus is earmarked for the upcoming 2015 budget that will help to keep any tax increases at a minimal level.

“We never reduce people’s tax rate,” said Pilon. “We lower the mill rate, the amount charged for each $100 of property assessment, but people’s taxes rise slightly each year.” The 2015 budget will be revealed at a special council meeting scheduled for December 15.

Notable projects related to the city’s triennial capital expenditure program for 2014, 2015, and 2016, includes the continued expansion and upgrade of the sewage treatment plant which began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by 2016, and the enlargement and upgrade of the water treatment plant that began in 2013 and is scheduled for completion next year.

The estimated $70 million budgeted for both facilities represents the single largest investment made by the municipality for any single project and is essential for the continued growth of city in order to adequately meet the needs for the city’s residents and its continually growing commercial and industrial base, said Pilon.

“The original buildings were over 45 years old, so we had to upgrade them,” Pilon said. “When you consider all the improvements we’ve made to the city in the past few years by building new parks, an arena, a skate park, amphitheatre, a new bridge over Highway 40, and reconfiguring St. Charles Avenue, it’ll be a new city.”

Pilon noted that residents can avail themselves to a wide range of superior services provided by the city, including being able to participate in numerous sport and cultural activities throughout the year, based on the nominal charges related to their taxes which will eventually be offset by a projected increase in tax revenue generated from new commercial and industrial projects.

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