The Town of Hudson’s 2017 budget includes $160,000 for a new Legion roof and Community Centre kitchen upgrade even if the Canada 150 infrastructure grant request is rejected, according to a printout dated the day before the first 2017 budget was adopted.
Last Dec. 15, this administration adopted the first of two 2017 budgets. The day before the meeting, the town produced a spreadsheet which broke down the proposed 2017 disbursements to community organizations, events and causes.
The three-page document is the result of a resolution, R4280 adopted at the Sept. 6, 2016 council meeting. The Politique de reconnaissance de Hudson/Hudson reconnaissance policy was to “acknowledge receipt of a Town project for a Policy in recognition of organizations to be considered [by] Council first and thereafter presented for consultation by the citizens in a process to be determined by the Town.”
I’ve posted the PDF here:
The spreadsheet names the cause, organization or event, the amount given in 2016, the amount demanded in 2017 and the amount the town was proposing to give in 2017.
Under Hudson Royal Canadian Legion, the requested 2017 disbursement was listed as “Roof (included in the Canada 150 infra. Grant request).
Council’s decision: “$500,000 if granted, $100,000 if not.”
There’s a similar entry for Meals on Wheels, the major user of the Community Centre kitchen: “grant request Canada 150th.” The request was for “kitchen renovation. Kitchen fan up to date, etc. $60,000. Council’s decision read “kitchen renovation. Kitchen fan up to date, etc. $60,000.”
The way I read this, council approved the $60,000 kitchen upgrade whether or not the grant is approved.
A posting on the town’s website includes the following disclaimer:
“We want to reaffirm that the acceptance of our project in the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure program (PIC150) is an absolute prerequisite to go forward with the loan bylaw 687-2017 as stated in the motion and in Section 5 of the bylaw. If the Town does not receive the grant, the loan bylaw will be cancelled.”
What the posting doesn’t say is whether the town will find other means of financing the upgrade.
As Hudson residents now know, this administration had to present a revised budget a month later, after it was revealed the town had erred in calculating the budget increase. So it’s possible this document was revised to allow council to cut approximately $1M from the 2017 budget to lower the average tax increase.
But this spreadsheet was adopted without discussion at the Dec. 15 council meeting and was not repealed or replaced when the new budget was adopted in January.
I think we’re seeing the town’s contingency plan if the grant is turned down.