City of Sarnia

2017 Budgets

The Finance Department is responsible for the budget process, including the Current (Operating), Capital and Reserves Budgets.

The Current (Operating) Budget provides for the costs for the City to provide municipal services to its inhabitants, and forms the basis of the amounts to be raised through taxation and user charges.  Examples of operating expenses include: salaries and wages, insurance, supplies, fuel, and utilities to name a few.

The Capital Budget provides for the construction and acquisition of capital works.  A capital expenditure may be defined as any significant expenditure to acquire or improve land, building, engineering structures, machinery and equipment.  The Capital Budget represents the municipality's intention to proceed with certain programs of capital works and services.  Examples of capital expenses include: new buses, new roads, and new sewers just to name a few.

Reserves can take many forms, and can generally be described as funds that are set aside for specific purposes, usually to plan for future large expenditures.   The Reserves Budget identifies what expenditures will be funded from Reserves and what sources of revenue will be utilized to maintain or build the Reserve balances.  With a great deal of infrastructure (roads, sewers, parks, arena, facilities etc.) to maintain, the budgeting process is used to plan for future repairs and replacement needs by identifying how to build reserve balances over time and identifying when to utilize these to fund future expenditures as approved by Council.

The Sewer Budget provides for the costs for the City to operate and maintain the municipal sanitary sewage system and the sewage treatment plant.  Such costs are to be recovered by charging a sewer charge based on the amount of the water consumption charges for water users that have access to the municipality's sanitary sewer system.

The Water Budget provides for the costs for the City to operate and maintain the water distribution system in order that the water acquired through the Lambton Area Water Supply System (LAWSS) is provided to municipal ratepayers.

The Fees for Services are user fees for various programs and services charged by City of Sarnia departments.

The Approved budget document is available after approved by Sarnia City Council.

The remainder of the downloads included below are the drafts made available to the public and provided to Council at the end of October each year for the next year.  The public has the opportunity to provide input to Council regarding the budget during a Council meeting held in November.  Council takes public input into account to set a budget that achieves a balance between service levels, infrastructure needs, resource availability, and appropriate tax rates when the next year’s Budget is deliberated during a special Budget Council meeting held in early December each year.

Please refer to the Budget Process section for more details on the process, what property tax rates include, and the allocation of property taxes to various City services.


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This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, December 22, 2016 11:45 AM