Gananoque poised to back budget

·2 min read

The Town of Gananoque is poised to approve a 2021 budget calling for a property tax increase of 1.6 per cent.

Town council completed its budget deliberations in December, and on Tuesday it gave the operating and capital budgets first and second readings.

This year's property tax increase is capped at 1.6 per cent.

"The Town of Gananoque staff and all department heads have been working diligently since the fall to mitigate any revenue shortfalls so that the residents of Gananoque do not have a significant increase in their property taxes in 2021 especially after going through a difficult and challenging year in 2020," said Mayor Ted Lojko.

That means that residents will see an additional $41.08 per year on the average house valued at $196,408.

As a single-tier municipality, Gananoque is in the enviable position of not having to worry about the counties levy increases and delays associated with the county passing its budget.

"We pay a levy to the counties for joint services, and no, they have not finalized their budgets, so we included a 1.25-per-cent increase, which will almost cover the proposed 2021 share," said town treasurer Melanie Kirkby.

The town’s total operating budget stands at $19,199,341. The tax increase will give the town a net tax levy of $8,250,130, and staff is projecting $10,541,666 in revenues between the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, the federal gas tax, casino revenues, reserves ($408,000), grants ($490,000) and town user fees.

The total capital budget is $4,987,650 and includes Phase Two of the Pine Street reconstruction. This second phase will complete Pine Street from Charles Street to William Street South and will include new sewers, watermain and street lighting.

The multi-use sports courts are in there, as are hydro upgrades at the marina along with a number of smaller items. The full details are posted on the town's website under the council agenda package for Jan. 12.

The only unknown at this time is the education portion of property taxes, but that's the smallest portion of the bill and in past years has either stayed the same or occasionally gone down.

"Third reading is February 2 and the only change made by council was to add $80,000 to the capital budget for an environment action plan; $40,000 to be funded through a grant and $40,000 to be funded from capital reserves," said Kirkby.

Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times