By Chad Ingram
The tax rate increase in Dysart’s draft 2020 budget is sitting at 3.65 per cent with the budget scheduled to be passed at a council meeting at the end of the month.
After an initial budget meeting in December councillors for the municipality held further budget talks during a Jan. 10 meeting. The budget totals approximately $17 million about $10 million of which will be derived from property taxation. Some $5.7 million will be spent on transportation which includes roads maintenance and construction; about $3.5 million on protective services which includes the municipality’s OPP bill and the operation of the fire department; approximately $3.3 million on environmental services which includes the operation of the municipality’s landfills; about $2.4 million on culture and recreation which includes maintenance of parks and community centres; $1.4 for general government which includes administration; about $550000 in the planning and development department; approximately $185000 for health services; and about $22000 for health and family services which includes the operation of the municipality’s DYMO bus.
A 3.65 per cent increase will equate to an increase in taxes on residential properties of $10.36 for every $100000 of assessment. For commercial properties that figure will be $15.36 for every $100000 of assessment and for industrial properties an increase of $17.80 for every $100000 of assessment.
“Municipal budgets must look at the needs of today and plan for the future” Mayor Andrea Roberts told the Echo in an email. “Our biggest goal is to achieve sustainability but that also comes with choices as to what services are needed and what services are expected. Budgeting is a balancing act. Transportation environment and OPP billing take large portions of the pie but while recreation and culture are not legislated we have heard how important they are to our community and need to be included.”
During last week’s meeting council agreed to add an additional $50000 for roads work to the draft that had been presented in December that money intended for some work along Highland Street as well as ditching projects along Kennisis Lake Road and Dunn Road. Councillor John Smith wanted to see an additional $200000 put into the roads department with offsetting savings to be found elsewhere however that plan was not supported by the majority of council.
“Dysart staff presented a very lean budget so no other councillors felt finding a savings of that amount was possible” Roberts wrote in an email. “ . . . We may find we need to add more to the roads budget in 2021 and we may need to put more aside to maintaining our buildings and other assets but for this year we have a responsible and well justified budget.”
It’s expected the budget will be passed on Jan. 28.