Bridges, new staff account for budget increase
Residents were mum at a public meeting for the municipal budget.
Clearview Township Treasurer Edward Henley outlined the budget for the press and a couple of regular council attendees on Nov. 13, after it had gone through several rounds of staff and council input.
Councillors will have one more look at the $51.8 million budget, which includes $27.5 million in operating expenses and $24.3 million in capital spending, at a final budget workshop on Nov. 27.
At present, the budget reflects a residential tax increase of 3.44 per cent. Factoring in a .26 per cent decrease in policing costs, an estimated county tax increase of one per cent and a school board tax decrease of one per cent, the overall tax increase is expected to come in at 1.76 per cent.
The actual increase will depend on the value of the property but the owner of a property assessed at $284,667, the average home price in Clearview, would pay $3,181 in taxes in 2018.
Henley said about 2.25 per cent of the increase to Clearview’s portion of the taxes is attributed to hiring a committee coordinator to help volunteer boards and committees be compliant with reporting regulations at a cost of $64,337; hiring a part time parks assistant at a cost of $29,900; an increase of $25,000 to $50,000 for the G&M Hospital building fund; and adding $40,000 to offset a one-time carry-forward from 2017 for Clearview Transit Service funding; and a $137,000 increase to the reserve fund for the repair and maintenance of the township’s bridges.
Henley said Clearview has 72 bridges and major culverts and until 2010, the municipality was not building reserves to pay for their maintenance. This year’s bridge reserve contribution of $538,000 is the largest since 2011. The long-term goal is to replace about one bridge per year on average at a cost ranging from $250,000 to $2.5 million.
Council also decided to reallocate $25,000 in funds originally earmarked for the Collingwood Regional Airport to an economic development reserve.
The next budget meeting is at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 27, at town hall, located at 217 Gideon St. in Stayner. Council is expected to pass the final budget in the spring. The full budget package is available online at www.clearview.ca/home/budget.