Few comments were made during a public meeting on the draft 2020 Minden Hills budget on Feb. 13. Following a presentation on the fourth draft by CAO/treasurer Lorrie Blanchard outlining a 2.15 per cent residential rate increase which represents a 5.3 per cent levy increase over the 2019 levy Mayor
Brent Devolin asked if anyone in the audience wanted to speak against the budget.
Jim Mitchell a member of the Minden Hills Cultural Centre advisory committee said that he wanted to register his displeasure that the economic development and cultural centre’s budget had decreased while other departments were receiving increases.
The draft budget shows the economic development marketing and destination officer’s budget at $524535 a decrease of $32045 from 2019.
Mitchell said sometimes people didn’t appreciate the importance of the arts to the community.
“I think the intrinsic value they [the arts] add to the community plus the fact that people come in for specific events to the cultural centre and also spend money in other parts of the community is overlooked sometimes” he said.
Following the meeting Emily Stonehouse the economic development marketing and destination officer clarified that cuts made to the budget had come primarily from the economic development side of her department’s budget. She said money flowing to the cultural centre was up from 2019.
Speaking to another issue in the budget Councillor Pam Sayne said that she was again disappointed that an organizational review was not included.
Sayne said efficiencies could likely be found if such a review was conducted. She also asked that township staff be sure to allocate appropriate resources to lawn mowing and snow removal.