Mississippi Mills is committed to sharing information and hearing from our residents. Check back on this page regularly for updated spotlight pieces and community engagement opportunities. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

2021 Budget Spotlights

Each week the Municipality will be publishing a 2021 budget article to help inform residents about the process and why it's important. Subscribe to our Newsfeed to get the articles in your email.

 Process and Timeline

The municipality is at the beginning stages of reviewing the draft 2021 budget. Part of the process in 2021 is a revised schedule to allow for greater input from the public and aim to have the final budget developed and approved by the end of December 2020.

The Municipality will be engaging with the community through weekly educational pieces designed to help residents understand how their tax dollars are being spent, the legislative requirements, as well as the budget decision making process.

Below you will find a summary of the budget approval process and timeline. Residents are encouraged to participate in the 2021 budget process by watching upcoming meetings live on our website and by participating in the Budget Survey coming out the week of October 19, 2020.




Weekly budget spotlights issued by the Municipality

Weekly: September 21, 2020 to approval of budget

On a weekly basis the Municipality will issue informational and background pieces that highlight key components of the 2021 budget, the process, spending, legislative requirements and more!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

6 p.m.

The Treasurer will present the first draft of the 2021 budget at a special Committee of the Whole meeting.  The Finance and Policy Advisory Committee will also be reviewing the draft budget at this stage.

Tuesday, October 13

9 am to 2 pm

Senior Staff will make presentations to the Committee of the Whole on their draft 2021 operating and capital budgets.

Tuesday October 15, 2020

9 am to 4 pm

Senior Staff will complete their presentations to the Committee of the Whole.  Committee of the Whole will provide direction and identify projects or areas that they would like more public feedback on.

Public Engagement

Week of October 19 to week of November 9, 2020

A public survey will be circulated through the Municipal website and Facebook page requesting input on aspects of the 2021 draft budget. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

6 p.m.

The Treasurer to present results of the survey and finalize the 2021 budget with the Committee of the Whole

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

6 p.m.

Council to approve the 2021 budget

 Balancing the Budget

Each year Council debates and discusses the budget during a series of meetings in order to balance the budget and determine what they feel is an acceptable level of taxation and amount for user fees.  Municipalities can’t have budgets that don’t balance as set out in the Municipal Act, so all revenues and expenses must be equal. The first DRAFT of the budget was presented to Council at the October 6th meeting and is currently not balanced so Council and Staff have a significant amount of work to do. 

There are many competing demands for your tax dollars and user fees. Council needs to determine the services and programs residents require, along with the demands for repair and replacement of aging infrastructure. There are many other items, some out of the control of the Municipality, that also impact the budget such as:

  • growth demands
  • the property tax assessment base
  • long term contracts
  • economic trends
  • the strategic plan
  • new programming to deliver services
  • debt levels
  • staffing needs
  • planning for future capital through reserve allocations
  • pressure from external sources and legislative changes
  • along with the day to day operating needs of the Municipality

In addition to the Municipal Act, the key legislation that impacts the annual budget are:

  • Occupational Health & Safety Act
  • Ontario Building Code
  • Fire Protection and Prevention Act
  • Ontario Planning Act
  • Development Charges Act
  • Education Act
  • Drainage Act
  • Tile Drainage Act
  • Environmental Assessment Act


  • Highway Traffic Act
  • Public Libraries Act
  • Employment Standards Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Ontario Water Resources Act
  • Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulation (Federal)

Visit our website at www.mississippmills.ca to see the DRAFT 2021 Budget details, view upcoming livestreamed budget meetings and watch for the Budget Survey coming out the week of October 19, 2020.

Operating Budget Vs. Capital Budget

The operating budget is a plan for the day-to-day operations at the Municipality and includes such things as salaries, utilities, materials and supplies, contracts, long term financing repayments, general maintenance and repairs, etc.  These expenses are consistent from year to year and add up to millions of dollars for the Municipality.   This would be similar to your daily expenses like groceries, utilities, gas, insurance, etc. that add up over the course of the year and that you can generally estimate.

The operating budget is mostly paid for by tax dollars and user fees, which include charges for such things as recreation programs, water and sewer services, building permits, childcare and library services.  Your personal “operating” expenses would likely come from your pay cheque or some other source of money you receive annually.

The capital budget is the annual plan for the purchase and repair of the Municipality’s capital assets, such as infrastructure, lands, buildings, vehicles and equipment, and includes studies needed to support the capital budget for the year. Some examples of capital projects include parks and trail improvements, the development and renovations of community spaces, road projects and bridge and culvert work.   

The capital budget varies from year to year depending on the level of asset replacement or repair that is needed.  For you, capital assets are things like a car, a boat, a house, a cottage that you must budget for to repair or replace when needed. To fund the capital budget, the Municipality looks at the availability of funding from multiple sources including grants, development charges, reserves, fundraising, long term financing, taxation and other user fees.  You would likely use your pay cheque, possibly a loan or mortgage, your savings or some other source of money to fund your assets and repairs however you’d have to consider all options before proceeding, just like the Municipality.

Special Budget Meeting Highlights

This week Committee of the Whole held two special meetings to review the draft 2021 budget. During these meetings Members of Council heard from department heads on their proposed 2021 capital and operational budgets. Members then posed questions to staff to gain further background information on their draft 2021 budget requests.

The Treasurer provided updates on the budget process, changes already made and the current budget shortfall. This year the budget process is spread over a few months to allow Council Members the opportunity to fully review the budget and to encourage public engagement and education.

Following the second special meeting on Thursday, Council Members directed staff to look into identifying priorities and budget items that can either be removed or phased in over a number of years. In addition, information will also be provided by staff that gives more rationale for budget increases, identified new items and budget implications of the Strategic Plan and results of the Service Delivery Review report.  These reports and recommendations will be brought forward to Committee of Whole at the next special budget meeting scheduled for November 24, 2020.

In addition to updated information from staff the municipality is seeking input from the community. A 2021 budget survey will be published next week. The results from the survey will help to identify priority areas for residents and how they would like to see user fees and tax dollars spent. The results from the public survey will be presented to Committee of the Whole for consideration at the November 24th special budget meeting.

The steps in the 2021 budget include:

  1. Staff put together the draft 2021 budget (completed in summer 2020)
  2. Weekly budget information/spotlight pieces published on a weekly basis (commenced September 2020)
  3. Staff present the draft version of the budget to Committee of the Whole (completed September 29, 2020)
  4. Department Heads present their detailed draft department budgets at special budget meetings (Completed October 13 and 15, 2020)
  5. Public engagement and survey launched (week of October 19)
  6. Additional meeting of draft 2021 budget presented to Committee of the Whole. This will include results from public survey and staff recommendations (November 24, 2020)
  7. Staff to make any additional changes to budget based on recommendations from the November 24th meeting (completed in November/early December)
  8. Final 2021 budget presented to Committee of the Whole (December 8, 2020)
  9. Final 2021 budget approved by Council (targeted for December 15, 2020)
Budget Survey for the Public

Would you like to have your say regarding the 2021 Budget? The Municipality wants to hear from you! Please click on the link below to participate in the Budget Survey and let us know what you think. The survey will be open until November 9th, 2020.

Budget Survey


The Municipality has revenues or income from a variety of sources that it uses to pay for all of its expenses. It also tries to put money into a reserve fund or savings account to pay for things down the road.  The Municipality’s annual expenses are millions of dollars with the largest revenue sources coming from taxes and user fees. 

Taxes are billed to residents annually and are calculated based on the assessed value of their property provided by Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and then by applying a specific tax rate to the assessment.  The tax rate that is used depends on what tax class your property is in. 

User Fees are intended to cover the cost of providing a specific service.  The largest user fees in Mississippi Mills are for water and sewer services, waste management, daycare, recreation and building services.

There are some other revenue sources that the Municipality has available such as Federal and Provincial grants, grants from the County of Lanark, development charges to assist with growth related expenses, interest on overdue taxes and water accounts, interest on investments and cash in the bank,  and fees for other items like marriage licenses and other permits.

The Municipality tries to earn revenues to pay for all of its expenses, but Municipalities often see expenses increasing higher than inflation or expenses beyond their control.  In addition, revenues fluctuate each year and grants have been on the decline. This means that Council often has to increase taxes and user fees to meet their obligations.


Spotlight Issues

To help share information with residents, the municipality publishes regular spotlights on key topics that have an impact on our community.

 Service Delivery Review

What is it, how is it being funded and what is the process and timeline.

Service Delivery Review 

 Policing & Law Enforcement  

Police services, community involvement, Municipal by-law enforcement.

 Policing & Law Enforcement  

 Strategic Plan 2020 -2023 

 Vision statement, main themes, share your input.

Strategic Plan 2020 -2023 

 Community Safety & Well-being

 Mississippi Mills has access to several programs that help keep our community safe.

Community Safety & Well-being 

 Broadband Access

 Actions taken to increase broadband access, next steps, and what you can do.

Broadband Access

By-Law 101: Education Series

The By-law 101: Education Series provides quick facts about commonly asked about by-laws and policies. If there is a policy or by-law you would like to know more about, please e-mail your idea to us.

Issue 1 ATV By-Law
Issue 2 Parking/Storage of Recreation Vehicles
Issue 3 Animal Control      
Issue 4 Winter Parking 
Issue 5 Waste Management
Issue 6 Signs
Issue 7 Open Air Burning
Issue 8 Animal Control (leash and picking up)