Council has approved the 2018 Capital and Operating Budgets as presented. The Budget uses a proposed 2.9% municipal tax increase. This means the amount of taxes collected by the Town for municipal purposes will increase by approximately $300,000, however, the actual taxes levied on an individual property will be dependent on their property assessment.
The modest increase allows for some reserve transfers to resume, which were halted last year to allow for the 0% budget. Funding these reserves is important for the Town as it allows for future planning for items like equipment purchases, facilities, and large-scale projects.
The 2018 budget includes a number of new and continued projects. Some highlights include; the addition of live video streaming services and archiving for Council meetings, a change to curbside garbage and organic waste collection services, and a move towards leasing some larger equipment rather than purchasing. Some capital projects for 2018 include; Kinsmen Park resurfacing (playground), Multi-use facility preliminary site selection/conceptual designs, continued SCBA replacement program for the Fire Department, water well exploration, highway flags (branding/beautification work), trail work, and road rehab work. The budget also includes the hiring of a full time IT position, an FCSS Outreach worker, as well as two staff members for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.