5 Things Elizabethtown-Kitley’s mayor wants you to know

·3 min read

Elizabethtown-Kitley Mayor Brant Burrow shares the top five issues going on in the township.

1) BUDGET PASSED

“As of our last council meeting (on Mar. 22), we have passed the budget. There’s going to be a 2.35 per cent tax increase.”

This means that for a resident with a median home assessment of $205,000 in 2021, there will be a total tax increase of $27.53.

“The township doesn’t necessarily get all of that — the county kept tax rate the same. The tax bill incorporates education tax, county tax and township tax: the $27.53 (increase) is a representative of all three components,” he said.

“We wanted to be sensitive to the fact that people are under financial pressures as a result of the pandemic. (However), if we leave our infrastructure and don’t do anything with our roads and buildings they’ll deteriorate to the point where the project becomes twice the price.

“We have a pretty aggressive capital plan for this year. We’re going to accomplish a lot. We think (the budget has) a balanced approach.”

2) NEW TOLEDO FIRE HALL

“The other big thing we have going on is our new north-end fire hall outside Toledo, replacing a 50-year-old building (in Frankville) that’s too small to house the large trucks that our fire department requires these days.

There were several reasons for that decision:

• There wasn’t enough room on the existing property to build a new building,

• If they demolished the existing one to make room for the new one, where were they going to house all the equipment while we’re building the new fire hall?

“We did a study to show we’ll be able to serve people in the far northern corners of our township that much better by moving the building five minutes down the road.”

Fire Chief Jim Donovan said, “We’ve had a couple issues with supply and demand, but we hope they wouldn’t be too far off the targeted completion date (of the fire hall) of July 1.”

Donovan also noted that 80 per cent of Elizabethtown-Kitley firefighters have had the COVID-19 vaccine, with no major side effects noted other than soreness at the injection site.

3) WHAT DOES THAT GREEN LIGHT MEAN?

Burrow has made it his mission this year to educate people about pulling over on the side of the road for vehicles with flashing green lights.

“The green flashing lights are for the volunteer firefighters. We’ve got to get the message out — (people) need to be pulling over for green lights, just like they pull over for ambulance and police.

“That’s a volunteer firefighter trying to get to the station. You never know, it could be your house on fire.”

4) BELLAMY PARK CAMPGROUND

“Last year there was a delay (in opening the campground), but we’re on track this year to open on Mother’s Day weekend. We won’t have campers being upset this year. Camping everywhere is just exploding.”

5) SPOTLIGHT ON RECREATION

For some time now, (the) recreation department hasn’t gotten attention like the other departments have. Coun. Christina Eady championed getting the focus put back on recreation, Burrow said.

“This year we are going ahead and getting park facilities repaired. There are a number of things we need to do for upkeeping to make sure they don’t fall into disrepair," the mayor explained. "Council is very much interested in having a discussion on recreation and giving it its due.”

Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News