Community halls included in future budget talks

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Clearview council held a final workshop on Jan. 13 to take one last look at the 2021 budget.
The $42.6 million budget includes $19.7 million in operating expenses and $22.9 million in capital expenses.
With all the final growth numbers incorporated, the net tax increase will be 1.59 per cent overall, and 3.3 per cent for the Clearview portion alone. That means that someone with a home assessed at $307,000 (the average MPAC assessment for Clearview) will pay approximately an additional $53 in taxes this year.
Clearview retains .51 cents of every dollar collected with the balance going to the County of Simcoe, OPP, NVCA and education.
No funds were added to the budget during the final workshop but council did discuss the merits of future long-term budgeting.
The discussion came around to community halls. Council has decided to go ahead with virtual meetings to plan for possible accessibility renovations to the halls, rather than wait until in-person meetings will be permitted.
Council will have to decide how to approach the costly renovations needed to render the halls compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Should the halls be renovated? Should they be sold?
Council received an updated engineer’s report in March estimating it would cost between $5.1 million and $8 million to renovate six halls – Avening, Sunnidale Corners, Nottawa, Duntroon, Brentwood and Dunedin – depending on the level of accessibility, including fees for architectural, engineering, and project management, as well as kitchen upgrades to become fire code compliant.
Since then Clearview’s Accessibility Advisory Committee has recommended an update to the Facility Accessibility Design Standards (FADs) document and consider a phased in approach when appraising the long-term plans regarding hall renovations. The FADs document raises the standard of accessibility beyond those of the province.
“I think it would help a lot if the councillors went back to their halls and asked them to be really honest about what they want to do. We don’t have enough to do the full FADS on all the halls, let’s be honest. This money isn’t going to come free. It’s going to be a loan that we are going to have to pay back so be fair about what you want and to be a little more minimalist. If you want to get this done sooner or later minimalist is probably better,” said Councillor Connie Leishman, adding that’s the message she took to Sunnidale Corners Community hall. “It’s something we can work on. If we could just get them in the halls, to enjoy the halls when we are allowed to, that would probably make all the difference to them so I would like everybody to be quite honest about what you want to do.”


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