Council wants to set its budget early

Urgency: Administrator wants to skip the wish lists and get down to the priorities immediately

Lake Cowichan council will get down to business on its budget talks for 2014 as early as January, believing the early bird will catch the worm.

At the finance and administration committee meeting held last month at the municipal hall, the town’s chief administrative officer Joesph Fernandez confirmed council’s intentions to jump on the budget immediately in the new year.

“We’re looking to get together early January to work out the budget,” said Fernandez.

Councillor Tim McGonigle, who chaired the meeting, was fully behind the fast approach outlined by town staff.

“The sooner we start, the better,” said McGonigle. “We have capital projects overset and once we get them settled, we will have an idea of what further capital projects we can do. Each department should forward a capital project wish list.”

Fernandez, sticking with the urgency theme, wants to avoid McGonigle’s “wish list” and have the specifics nailed down as soon as possible.

“We are hoping that the capital projects will not be a wish list,” said Fernandez.

One capital project being overset to the new year is the installation of streetlights along South Shore Road.

Director of finance Ronnie Gill, presented her latest report to council at the meeting.

A segment of the report read: “Some capital projects (including streetlights on the South Shore Road which due to shipment delays are incomplete) will have to be re-budgeted in 2014.”

Further indication of future capital projects was not given although Fernandez concluded by saying “council has talked about doing some work at Centennial Park.”