(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Huron County’s Next Budget Could Be Another Tight One

Huron County’s treasurer has warned councillors that they will likely face some challenges in budget discussions again this year.

Michael Blumhagen suggests pressure on the budget will come from two areas. The first will be the Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding. That funding has been decreasing over the last three years and Blumhagen says he expects that to be the case again this year.

The other area of concern is the ongoing reliance on reserves. Blumhagen says the level of service being provided by the county is not being matched to the levy being raised to support those services, and that is something senior staff have been attempting to address.

Blumhagen suggests the starting point for discussions will be around 6% and then staff and council will work towards getting that down to a more acceptable figure.

“So we’ve got on-going OMPF Provincial funding cuts, so that’s one area that will be receiving our announcements in, most likely in November, and if the trends continue the way they have in the past three years we’re going to be seeing another significant cut here at the county so that’s going to impact our budget next year,” says Blumhagen. “Our ongoing reliance on reserve has been an issue that we’ve had where the service levels that we’re providing are at a greater cost than the levy that we’re raising is supporting.”