county gets early look at potential budget scaled

County gets early look at potential budget

Huron County Treasurer, Michael Blumhagen presented county council with a draft of this year’s budget at a special council meeting last week.

Blumhagen says they’ve got about a month and a half to come up with the final budget, so what was presented this week is just a draft. Blumhagen says costs have gone up in all areas and that’s affected their operations.

“It’s not just the inflationary environment that we’re seeing. We’re not only seeing that, but we’re seeing an impact just post pandemic the labour crisis that we’re seeing within our health care, our homes for the aged and EMS and significant challenges that are happening with that just driving up some pressures there,” explained Blumhagen.

Right now, Blumhagen says the draft budget is showing an increase of twelve and a half per cent over last year.

“So that’s been a number that we’ve really had to work for to bringing that down and relying on some reserves as well to get to that twelve and a half per cent, but keep in mind it is draft. There’s also some really big capital projects that we have on deck, key priorities of council, so that’s embedded in those numbers as well,” Blumhagen noted.

But Blumhagen says the news isn’t all bad.

“We have seen in 2022 real assessment growth of about 196-million in terms of new assessment. So really that eliminates some of the tax burden on existing assessment. So it just spreads it out to new assessment, new growth, new homes and it actually is a benefit overall,” Blumhagen shared.

Blumhagen says the final four or five remaining departments will be presenting their budgets on January 18 and then they’ll have a special budget day with council on February 8 and try to come up with a final budget.

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