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Township taxes to rise $15 per $100,000 of assessment

by Patrick Raftis

MAPLETON - Residential taxes here will rise by about $15 per $100,000 worth of assessment in 2017.

At a special meeting on March 7, Mapleton council approved a budget that is essentially unchanged from a draft presented at a Feb. 15 public meeting in Drayton.

The budget calls for expenditures of $9,626,413 this year, compared to $8,774,003 budgeted in 2016.

The projected tax levy of $6,554,085 is up by $671,849, or about 11.4 per cent from the budgeted 2016 levy of $5,882,236.

The budget calls for a tax rate increase of 3.3%, which includes:

- a 4 % increase in capital and reserve contributions to address infrastructure funding shortfalls; and

- a 0.7% operating budget decrease.

Blended with county and school board taxes, the tax rate increase is expected to be about 2.6%. The township keeps 37 cents out of every property tax dollar collected, with 46 cents going to Wellington County and 17 cents for the education portion.

Roads and bridges will consume 44% of the township’s budget, with administration at 14% and parks and recreation at 13% forming the next largest portions.

Of the township’s nearly $4.8-million capital budget, a little over $2 million will come from federal and provincial grant funding. About $1.9 million will come from reserves and $266,700 from debt financing, leaving around $457,000 to be funded through the tax levy.

The budget includes increases to reserves or capital contributions to fund a variety for capital projects.

The capital fund includes an additional $85,000 for bridges. The township estimates the annual capital need at $1,900,500 per year for 10 years. The 2017 contribution of $400,000 is up from $315,000 budgeted in 2016.

An additional $100,000 has been added to the road capital fund, an area where the township projects annual capital needs of $1.66 million per year for 10 years to simply maintain roads in their current condition. The 2017 contribution of $1.36 million is up from just over $1 million budgeted last year.

An additional capital contribution of $15,000 will go toward capital needs to maintain the township’s vehicle fleet. The township estimates it needs $350,000 per year to provide sustainable fleet funding. The increase brings the 2017 contribution to $265,000.

Another $90,000 has been added to the PMD arena capital fund. A budget report from CAO Brad McRoberts notes capital reserves will be needed to fund a new ice refrigeration system in 2020 and fund driveway improvements, brine pump replacement and roof repairs in 2017. The 2017 contribution is up to $140,000 from the 2016 level of $50,000.

Capital projects for 2017 include:

- $16,000 for computer equipment replacement;

- $30,000 for new front counter and workstations to enhance accessibility;

- $1.2 million for McGivern Street improvements in Moorefield;

- about $2.5 million in bridge work, including $1.4 million for PB024 in Glen Allan; and

- $526,000 for Maryborough Community Centre upgrades (50% funded through a Ontario 150 capital grant).

Operating budget highlights include:

- $6,000 for Canada 150th celebrations;

- $6,000 for a website redesign, plus anticipated Wellington County Business Retention and Expansion funding for the project;

- $20,000 for the implementation of a Community Improvement Plan: and

 - $15,000 for development of a municipal signage plan and downtown signs.

The budget incorporates a 1.8% increase to the township’s wage grid. The township’s compensation philosophy ties the increase to the Consumer Price Index for Ontario.

Councillor Dennis Craven, who chaired the special meeting in the absence of Mayor Neil Driscoll, noted the capital budget contains more than $1 million for a bridge project on Sideroad 17. With only three farms and one business located on the road, Craven said “If we weren’t getting 90 per cent funding I don’t know if I’d be in favour of doing it.”

The township’s share of the project is being funded from reserves.

The budget was approved unopposed. Councillor Lori Woodham declared a conflict of interest on the public works portion of the budget, as her spouse is employed by the township in that department.

March 17, 2017


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