Laurentian Valley passes 2017 budget
The Township of Laurentian Valley wrapped up its 2017 budget deliberations with the final passing of the budget bylaw.
At the regular council meeting on May 16, council approved its 2017 Budget for general, street lights, wastewater, and waste collection purposes.
The 2017 General Budget revealed a significant levy increase of 8.64 per cent, representing $358,623 - – much higher than 2016’s 2.9 per cent levy.
“I’m never pleased when we have to have an increase but that's today's day and age – it’s the business that we run and we run it as best we can. We had a few obstacles this year that really hurt our revenues and we couldn’t offset it, so we've had to incur an increase,” said Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett. “We need to balance our books in the end and I know the taxpayers won't be totally happy with an eight per cent increase, but we still carry a very low tax levy in the county. We've got to bite the bullet, move forward and hopefully we have a better year.”
This increase includes 1.4 per cent of 2016 growth (or $64,835) and a 5.2 per cent increase due to significant commercial assessment reductions following the conclusion of an MPAC appeal.
The levy change was also incurred due to a drastic increase in the township’s public works winter maintenance costs which exceeded the budgeted amount by approximately $160,000.
For residential taxpayers, the tax impact results in an increase of $27.25 per $100,000 assessment.
The 2017 Wastewater Levy remains the same at $474,785. The wastewater tax rates will be brought forward for approval on June 6, 2017. Council decided to leave the levy the same while reducing the transfer to reserves and absorbing the 10.9 per cent ($51,685) impact for commercial assessment reductions for the years 2011 to 2016. This will decrease the impact of these reductions to wastewater users.
The 2017 Street Light Levy remains the same at $37,940. The rate for property owners that benefit from streetlights remains at $35 per year.
Waste Collection rates will also remain the same at $160 per household.
The highlights of the approved budget include: a joint construction project with the Town of Petawawa for a portion of Achray Road; a rehabilitation project of Cheryl Street which will include road base and storm sewer work; detailed engineering plans for road, wastewater, storm sewer and water projects on Joe Street, Roy Street and other locations; and several recreation projects including the rink boards at Alice and Fraser Recreation Centre.