Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How Will Your Money Be Spent?

I promised to keep you informed about how your money is spent within the Town.

Following a pre-budget consultation in October 2007, Council approved “in principal” the 2008 Capital Budget in December 2007 and the 2008 Operating Budget in February 2008. Since we now know the Region’s final Tax Policies, your Town Council was to formally adopt both budgets during this past Monday’s meeting.

The Town portion of your taxes – 33.3% of your tax bill – will increase 4.85%. The School Board portion remains unchanged and makes up 17.3% of your taxes. The Regional portion, which makes up 49.4% of your bill, will increase by 0.4%. When you add all this together, your total tax bill will increase by 1.96% – less than the 2.2% rate of inflation.

So how will your money be spent?

Your $3.8 million Capital Budget will fund many improvements, such as:
· Replacement of the Fire Pumper for Station One (approx. $400,000);
· Purchase of a generator in case of an officially declared emergency;
· Road reconstruction of Line Avenue (already started!); Effingham between Ollie and Roland Roads; Farr, Brock, and Elizabeth Streets; and Pelham Street for 300m North from Shorthills;
· Engineering design for the road and water/waste water for Haist Street between Canboro and Welland Roads;
· Fonthill Traffic Study in areas of Port Robinson, Station, and Pelham Streets;
· Repairs to the Fonthill Cemetery Mausoleum (paid by the Perpetual Care fund);
· Playground equipment renewal in Marlene Stewart Streit, Rolling Meadows, and Harold Black Parks;
· Addition of security features to the Town’s Pool;
· Loan to the Farmer’s Market Committee for hydro service installation for the Market;
· New pitching mound and bleacher replacement at Harold Black Park;
· Improvements to the Arena, including safety netting and new glass;
· Improvements to Centennial Park, including drainage and soccer catch-netting; and
· Funding for the Community Improvement Plan and Urban Design Guidelines for the Town’s downtowns.

In addition to the regular Town services to which you are accustomed, your 2008 Operating Budget also includes funds for many special initiatives, such as:
· Additional resources to better support the successful Bandshell Concert Series;
· Continuation of Monday service at the Town’s Library branches;
· Revenue neutral staff changes in Planning and in Infrastructure Services;
· Information and coordination services for a Gypsy Moth spray program; and
· Increases in road and sidewalk maintenance – ditching, patching, flushing, and cleaning.

If you have any questions, please contact me at or 905-892-2607.