Mono Draft Budget cut down to 2.4 per cent tax levy

January 27, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

Mono Council’s 2022 Draft Budget is currently at a 2.4 per cent tax levy increase, much lower than the originally proposed 10.9 per cent increase from staff, during a meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 25).

Council members struggled to keep the tax levy increase to 2.4 per cent, they examined the treasurers document line by line seeking to reduce the budget by some $700,000 to reach the 2.4 per cent target.

It was an arduous meeting, which saw Council reduce a number of capital reserves in their efforts to keep the tax levy increase low.

The 2.4 per cent target is moving forward despite the objections of Councillor Melinda Davie, who was concerned that this could turn out to be penny wise and pound foolish, as prices were certainly going to rise in the foreseeable future and reserves served to offset those increases.

The original draft presentation saw Mono’s tax levy rise by 10.9 per cent, which Deputy Mayor Fred Nix felt was excessive. He preferred Council remain consistent with inflation or one per cent higher, while Councillor Ralph Manktelow was of the opinion that 2.4 per cent was the limit, and that Council should place lesser amounts in the reserves.

Councillor Davie agreed, but cautioned that prices would invariably rise and reserves needed to try to meet those increases.

Councillor Sharon Martin felt that Council could do this and should.

Meanwhile, Mayor John Creelman said he wanted to see the increase be below 2.4 per cent, as he felt residents were struggling with COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent loss of income.

In his Draft Budget Presentation, Treasurer Les Halucha pointed out that Mono, had lost over $190,000 in income in 2021, due to COVID-19 and had incurred additional expenses of $92,000 for Parking Enforcement, due to the Mono Cliffs Provincial Park parking concerns in early Spring.

Also, Mono had seen an assessment growth of 1.24 per cent for a total of $101,108 over 2021 figures.

Still, he pointed out that Town taxes were the lowest in Dufferin County, at only $1795.40 for a $500,000 home, compared to $4,084 and $3,708 in Orangeville and Shelburne respectively.

Halucha also addressed the increasing demand to pave gravel roads, of which the Town has 250 km. He explained the estimated cost of this would amount to $730,000 per kilometre, or $182,500,000 in total.

Meanwhile, Council decided not to hire a full time Bylaw Enforcement Officer in 2022. Deputy Mayor Nix felt the salary and benefits was simply too much and that the status Quo was good enough for this year.

This also meant that the Town of Mono would not require the proposed vehicle for the position. This move cut $117,000 from the budget.

Councillors next looked at the reserve for Bridge 5 on Hurontario Streeet and County Road 7. This bridge is in serious need of repair or replacement, but sees insignificant traffic during the year.

The reserve was to be added to by $200,000. Council reduced this amount to $100,000 and agreed to come back to the issue if required.

And the reserve for the proposed electric pick-up truck was reduced by $50,000 to zero, based on the proposed 2023 delivery schedule. 

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