Orangeville Council approves 1.6% tax increase

March 24, 2016   ·   0 Comments

After wrangling at six sessions over a period of nearly three months, Orangeville Council on Monday night finally agreed on a 2016 Town budget that will require residential property owners to pay 1.6% more for the Town’s share of their property taxes.

The budget includes a 2.5 percent increase on the Town’s tax levy. When combined with the County of Dufferin tax rate and the provincial education rate, the average homeowner in Orangeville will see an increase of $77.57 on their 2016 property tax bills.

The average residential property, with a property assessed at $344,907, will pay a combined total of $4,944 in property taxes, including the county and education levy. The $72.4 million budget (including capital and operating expenditures) is funded from the tax levy, reserve funds, development charges, user rates, gas tax funds, and government grants, such as the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. The approved 2016 budget is comprised of $54.4 million in operating expenses and $18 million in capital expenses (with a tax levy impact of $1,659,733 for capital projects). The capital budget relates to longer-term projects and expenses.

Some of the major projects approved in the 2016 budget are:

• ibrary renovation of third floor at a cost of $275,000 with $91,000 being funded by a federal grant

• ompletion of funding for the new pumper/tanker for the Fire Department  $257,500

• rail repairs — Woodvale & Colbourne trails  $67,000

• aywood Park play structure  $60,000

• merald Ash Borer replacement trees  $46,800

• ce resurfacer at Alder Street Recreation Centre  $72,000

• awson Rd Resurfacing, Madison Ave. to Centre St.  $86,000

• awson Rd Resurfacing, Town Line to Lawrence  $132,000

• irst Street Resurfacing, Fourth Ave. to Fead St.  $83,000

• ony Rose Sports Centre spectator stands handrails $60,000

The Finance and Administration Committee recommended the resurfacing projects as a step toward addressing the significant infrastructure gap reported in the Town’s Asset Management Plan by increasing the tax levy contribution to capital by $340,000 or an additional 1.0925 per cent on the tax levy.

Non-Tax-Levy supported projects include:

•  2016 contribution to Water Pollution Control Plant expansion,  $14,785,984

• idewalk on Amelia Street, Elizabeth to McCarthy,  $38,000

• UDI (Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of surface water) Well treatment upgrades,  $100,000

• esign work for Princess Street project  $384,000

• roadway Resurfacing, Centre St. to Blind Line  $334,000

• ire hydrant replacements  $145,000

• unicipal Way-finding Signage program  $65,000 ($30,000 from Reserves and $35,000 in grants).

Acting Treasurer Karen Mills reported an estimated $1 million surplus due primarily to 2015 staff deficiencies and said those funds have been directed to reduce the cumulative deficit of $1.8 million.

Council also voted to reduce the operating budget by $165,000, bringing the Town’s tax rate increase to 2.5 percent for this year.

Councillor Nick Garisto, chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, said he was disappointed with the budget – and he was the sole member of Council to vote against the budget.

“I wanted to see a budget reduction but had no support,” he told the Citizen. “I voted against the budget, but majority rules.

“Unfortunately I felt we had an opportunity with this budget, I tried to stand up for business in the town and had no support.

“I ask for the citizens of Orangeville to be patient and will try my best to get it to the big zero; it may take time.”

The 2016 budget maintains service levels and provides additional enhancements for the community. Those enhancements include two new firefighters, a sustainability plan, the reinstatement of the façade improvement program, and additional road improvements.

At the final budget session, Police Chief Wayne Kalinsky presented an Orangeville Police Service budget to council that included no increase. He told councillors the police service wants to be fiscally responsible and has delivered on that promise.

The chief spoke highly of what he is calling the “new” Orangeville Police Service and how it’s revitalizing itself in Orangeville.

“The community wanted a police service that was fiscally responsible.  In 2015, we were able to return approximately $226,000 to the town.”

Chief Kalinski also discussed the service’s newly improved communications centre, future revenue generating initiatives that include providing dispatch service quotes to various fire departments and a costing for policing services in the Township of Amaranth.

He also said the “new” Orangeville Police Service wants to be friendlier, kinder and more involved in the community.

Written By Marrie-Leigh Ferguson

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.