Nina Bifolchi

Newsroom – 2018 Budget

On December 12, 2017 Town Staff made a public presentation regarding the 2018 budget. For those of you who missed it you can watch it by following this link:

As always, staff do a fantastic job of presenting the budget. However, at approximately the 41:27 mark of the recording, the Mayor made the following comment as part of a question to staff.

“So starting this year we will start to see profit on those kiosks”

I think the financial position of the kiosks/market needs to be clarified as this was a little confusing during the meeting.

I was not sure how the Market/Kiosks could possibly be making money knowing where things have stood over the past couple of years. I guess everyone looks at things a little differently however this is how I see it.

-The Committee of the Whole October 13, 2015, staff report “Main Street Market – Activating the Historic Heart of Wasaga Beach” clearly states “The kiosks will pose no financial risk to the Town as they will only be constructed following execution of a signed lease agreement.”

-The Committee of the Whole meeting January 19, 2016, staff report “Main Street Market – Activating the Historic Heart of Wasaga Beach” “Market Budget – 5 year business plan” indicates that there was to be a $91,490 deficit in 2016 (not $217,399 which was what the actual deficit ended up as)

-The Committee of the Whole meeting of February 14, 2017, staff report “2016 Year End Memo” clearly states that the “deficit of $217,399 for the Main Street Market be funded through the Main Street Market Reserve to be repaid over a five year period.”

-The 2018 budget shows $21,570 will be transferred to the reserve account. This is $21,570 dollars that will be going towards decreasing the debt of the Main Street Market/Kiosks. At this rate it will take 10 years to pay off…..not 5. Will the kiosks last long enough to see a profit? If memory serves the warranty on them was only 1 year.

I believe in 2018 the Entertainment fees for the market have also been moved to a different account which in my opinion makes the market/kiosk books look in better shape. My hope would be that if the entertainment costs have been entered into another town account, other businesses in town should see benefit from it, not just the kiosks. However, it is my understanding that the entertainment will still occur just in the kiosk area so I’m not sure I agree with putting the amount into another town account.

Despite how some people look at the situation, in my opinion the kiosks (Main Street Market) will not be making money in 2018. In my business experience you are in the red and not making money until your debt is paid. Then and only then can you say you are making money and a profit.

As the town moves forward in the many directions this council is going, we need to be very cautious about the business plans presented. I asked a number of questions during the approval process for this venture and never received answers. All aspects need to be looked at and considered when the town is using tax payer’s money.

It is expected that the 2018 town budget will be approved at the January 30th, 2018 council meeting. If you have questions about the budget, please reach out to treasury staff to receive answers. I’m sure they would be happy to assist.

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