For all municipalities in Ontario, the bill has come due.
Adelaide Metcalfe is waiting for some public feedback before passing the capital asset stage of its asset management plan, which the Province mandated be done by July 1. The idea is to avoid the cross-country problem of infrastructure deficits, to not fall behind maintaining things like roads, buildings and water systems.
Things being looked at this time include what level of service the Township aims for residents, and how long are going to last, and what cost and maintenance this will take.
It also considers what tax increases will be needed.
Peter Simcisko of Watson & Associates Economists reported to council June 6 that tax bills are estimated to increase by 3.1 percent each year up to 2031, the year the capital funding gap is to be caught up with. That is assuming a 0.6 percent annual growth in property assessments.
In 2022, the Township’s annual capital funding gap of $534,000 is 12 percent of the Township’s tax levy of $4.36 million. That is relatively not bad, considering based on a review of asset management plans of other municipalities in Middlesex County and the City of London, the capital funding gaps range from 26 to 38 percent of the annual tax levy.
So the property tax bump would be lower in Adelaide Metcalfe. One catch is it does not include the new public works garage expected to be built soon.
“I’m happy to see that 12 percent for us. I wish that number was a little smaller, but in comparison it’s quite good to see that number there,” said Mayor Kurtis Smith at the meeting.
The state of the Township’s assets were deemed good or very good, the third and second-highest rating out of seven.
That includes 215 kilometres of roads, which with sidewalks and streetlights make up 61 percent of capital assets that would cost $54.4 million to replace. Add in bridges, culverts, water, sewer, facilities, vehicles and equipment, and taxpayers are on the hook for $89 million (in todays’s dollars) of replacement costs. That is almost $88,000 per household.
A more complete plan that includes the more baked-in operating costs that fluctuate a lot less with things like salaries is due in 2025.
Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner