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Press Release - March 31, 2022 - Setting of Tax and Water/Sewer Rates

Press Release - March 31, 2022 - Setting of Tax and Water/Sewer Rates

THE CORPORATION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF CALLANDER

PRESS RELEASE - March 31, 2022

For Immediate Release – March 31, 2022

(CLICK ABOVE LINK TO VIEW PDF VERSION OF THE PRESS RELEASE)

 

RE:         2022 General Ratepayers and Water and Wastewater Budget

               Setting of Tax and Water/Sewer Rates

 

General Ratepayers Budget, Tax Ratios and Tax Rates

In August of 2021, Council adopted a Budget Policy with a goal of passing the municipality’s annual budget prior to the start of the fiscal year (before the end of December). An earlier passing of the budget allows for better timeframes for procuring goods/services, especially those that must take place during the summer season (i.e., road infrastructure projects). Unfortunately, due to some financial unknowns associated with the policing contract, the budget was postponed until January 2022. Thankfully, these issues were resolved quickly, when a “no contract” option was proposed, resulting in policing cost of nearly $375,000 for 2022 instead of the $1.2 million originally proposed in December. On January 25th, 2022, the General Ratepayer’s Budget was passed with an estimated tax rate increase of 1.96%. This is the earliest Council has passed an annual budget for the Municipality.

On March 22nd, 2022, Council reviewed modifications recommended by staff due to more detailed information being available (i.e., final allocations for agencies, boards, commissions, and contract prices). The modifications resulted in no changes to the proposed tax rate of increase for 2022 that was estimated in January. A By-law was passed setting the tax rate and ratios, with only a 1.96% increase from last year’s rates.

For the public’s information, the key factors impacting this budget included:

  • Increased costs in insurance,
  • Increased costs for contracts,
  • Increased gas and heating costs due to current trends in the market,
  • Additional revenue from the provincial government (OCIF formula, COVID-19 and Modernization funding), and
  • Properties currently remain assessed at the 2016 value

Council is excited to have received substantial funding this year, which will now allow the Municipality to achieve its Plans and objectives much sooner, most notably our community driven Downtown Waterfront Revitalization Strategy. We are thankful to all of our funding partners, and to our MP Anthony Rota and the MPP Vic Fedeli for the support and advocation for various projects proposed by the Municipality.

In the operating budget, we are also seeing major improvements to our long-term planning documents, including our Official Plan and Zoning By-law, that will ensure and secure our strategies for appropriate and consistent growth levels for the future. Studies are also being completed on our lagoons, to ensure that capacity at our lagoons is an issue of the past.

Some of the major projects proposed this year include:

  • Installation of the new playground equipment at Centennial Park
  • A new entrance sign at Golf Course and Callander Bay Drive
  • $1.2 million in enhancements for the waterfront, pier, and Lansdowne Street West
  • Repair of the retaining wall at the Cenotaph
  • E-billing and web software, to allow residents to view their tax/utility bills online
  • Resurfacing of McDonald Road

Water and Sewer Rates

Council has also passed the recommended increase of 2.1% in the water and wastewater rate, as per the accepted Water Financial Plan that was completed in May 2020. The current budget has two major projects scheduled for 2022, including $50,000 for equipment replacement at the water treatment plant and $75,000 for lift station rehabilitation. The Municipality is continuing to build reserves for future replacement and rehabilitation of its core infrastructure assets.

For more information on the Municipality’s budget and how to become involved in the development of 2023, please feel free to contact the municipality at info@callander.ca or by calling 705-752-1410

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