The City of Charlottetown is going to wait a few more days before bringing down its 2020-21 operating budget.
Coun. Terry Bernard, chairman of the finance committee, was scheduled to deliver the budget address on March 27 at noon, but the city is now tentatively scheduling it for Thursday, April 2.
“Things have been getting delayed with what’s going on with COVID-19,’’ Bernard said Thursday.
City council has to meet to discuss the budget before the actual document gets printed, but due to the pandemic and restrictions that have been getting more stringent by the day, meetings had to be postponed.
Council finally managed to discuss the budget in a private conference call on Wednesday.
However, Bernard said things are moving forward.
“Council has had the opportunity to review it and ask questions and have them answered,’’ he said. “We want to make sure we’re organized and that we’re doing it right.’’
Due to social distancing rules, the public will not be permitted to attend the budget address in person, but it will be live-streamed on the city’s website. Media interviews will be conducted afterwards by phone.
Bernard wouldn’t comment on how the current health situation will impact the city financially, but there’s no denying it will have an effect.
“Obviously, with the way the world is, there is going to be some tweaking throughout the year.’’
In February, the city passed a $26.06 million capital budget, an increased investment of $4.09 million from the previous fiscal year. The $26.06 million included $4.39 million for the water and sewer utility and $21.67 for the city corporation.
Last year’s operational budget came in at $57.14 million and included a 32-cent-per-day increase in the water and sewer rates.
Under the Municipal Government Act, municipalities must present balanced budgets, and are not allowed to carry a deficit.