For Morris Town Council, fiscal responsibility has always been top-of-mind when formulating its annual budgets and deliberations for the 2024/25 financial plan were no different, according to Mayor Scott Crick.

Council presented a $5.2 million budget to the public on Thursday. That's a 4.38 per cent increase from 2023/24.

"We did have the one large capital charge that will be showing up as part of the budget this year for the new water distribution plant that we needed for the town," explained Crick, who assured residents that Council is being as creative as possible and working with staff to try to ensure that any spending and tax increases are as minimal as possible.

Overall, owners of residential and commercial property within the Town of Morris can expect their tax bills to increase 7 per cent in 2024/25.

Crick admitted, crunching the numbers for the coming year was somewhat of a challenge.

"We always have to make sure that we don't try to do too much too quickly. As a smaller municipality, we don't have bottomless financial resources," he explained. "Therefore, it's important that, let's say, if we have a number of capital repairs to do in the Multiplex, we can't do them all at the same time. We need to be cautious in terms of how we space that out. And yes, price pressure and inflation, it does affect everybody, but as a government, I think one of the things that we've done is we've been successful in building our reserves over the last number of years. Fundamentally, a lot of that has been for reinvestment in the community. So, there will be a bit of drawing on Reserves this year, but the main goal is not to draw on the reserve because of an operating expense because you do have those capital needs within the community, and that's exactly why we do save the money."

The Town will be pulling just over $860,000 out of reserves in order to balance the books. 

Click here to view the full financial public presentation.

With files from Chris Sumner