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Erin draft budget includes 2.2% tax levy increase

by Olivia Rutt

ERIN - The tax levy increase for Erin is expected to be 2.18 per cent for 2018.

Council discussed the draft budget on Nov. 21 after three rounds of public consultation meetings in October and November.

The draft budget includes $10.33 million for operating  costs and $2.5 million for capital expenditures. Of the capital budget, $521,000 will be raised through taxes.

For taxpayers, the increase translates to $31.70 more in town taxes for a home assessed at $500,000.

Assessment growth across the town has not been factored into the equation, said director of finance Ursula D’Angelo.  

The budget also includes $493,600 of the tax base set aside for infrastructure renewal. $483,896 was put away in 2017.

“Do you feel, based on your analysis, that we’re doing enough, putting enough aside for infrastructure renewal?” asked councillor Matt Sammut.

D’Angelo replied, “I think it’s a big issue for all municipalities, and right now we are at half a million putting it away into infrastructure.”

She added the coming asset management plan will provide more insight for council.

There are still a few outstanding items that will be revealed at the Dec. 12 meeting, including the total 2018 tax requirement, the impact of Bill 148 (minimum wage bill), on labour costs ($4.2 million last year) and growth assessment.

The 2018 draft budget also includes the following operating resource requests:

- strategic plan, $40,000;

- video recording of council meetings, $10,000; and

- economic development strategy, $41,000.

General capital requests include:

- replacement of the telephone system, $30,000;

- municipal building security, $25,000; and

- elevator at the municipal office to meet accessibility regulations, $250,000.

Fire and emergency capital requests include $75,000 to be set aside for the future purchase of a tanker and $100,000 for radio reception improvements.

Roads capital requests include:

- culvert 2045 replacement on Fourth Line, $625,000;

- Barker Street sidewalk replacement, $60,000;

- resurfacing of Dundas Street West from Erin Heights Drive to Carberry Street, $85,000;

- rural reconstruction of portion of Sideroad 27,  $50,000;

- rural reconstruction of Station Street from the new Hillsburgh Library to 6th Line, $200,000;

- surface treatment of 8th Line, Dundas Street to Sideroad 17, portion of Second Line, $180,000; and

- single-axle dump truck and winter sander to replace another tractor unit, $240,000.

Recreation capital requests are:

- Centre 2000 sewage treatment plan agreement with the Upper Grand District School Board, $20,000;

- Centre 2000 future emergency response centre,  $50,000; and

- Barbour Field septic system, $50,000.

Among the economic development capital requests is $300,000 for the Erin Rotary Riverwalk.

Funding for the water department comes from reserves as it is a user-pay service and does not affect taxes. Water capital requests include:

- Erin Well 8 generator upgrades, $36,000;

- security cameras at water facilities, $10,000; and

- fire hydrant rehabilitation, $16,000.

The final budget numbers are expected to be presented on Dec. 12.

December 1, 2017


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