No raises for Tay council, staff or 'volunteers' next year

·2 min read

A minimal increase in the consumer price index has resulted in no wage increases for Tay Township staff in 2021.

Staff have determined the consumer price index change from Aug. 2019 to Aug. 2020 to be at 0.1%, which they feel doesn’t warrant a raise in wages for council members and volunteer firefighters.

Due to recent changes in staff positions/responsibilities created by a municipal reorganization, staff are recommending the township conduct a new market wage study. For that, they're asking for a budget of $25,000 to hire a consultant, who would conduct an overall compensation review.

The staff report also shares the OPP’s 2021 annual billing statement, which estimates a cost of $1.78 million, compared to $1.76 million in 2020. Staff says the cost of policing has gone down, even though households have increased to 5,686 from 5,633 in 2020. The OPP has reported a reduction in the cost per property for base services, from $183 to $177, resulting in a total base cost decrease of $23,000 for Tay.

However, the report says an increase in Tay’s OPP calls-for-service led to a per-property cost increase to $121 from $114, resulting in a total increase of $45,000.

In 2020, the budget included a transfer of $96,000 from reserves, to phase-in policing cost increases over a number of years. For the 2021 budget, staff is recommending a transfer of $116,000 from the policing reserve, resulting in no increase in taxation for policing in 2021.

On the flip-side, staff says an operating surplus is expected at the end of this year. It is further recommending that certain projects be funded from that surplus, such as for the pole-mounted radar unit.

Other one-time expenditures, such as a traffic-safety plan, lights for the Victoria Harbour fire hall and a $60,000 loan to the YMCA, should also be made through the surplus.

Also on the agenda is a request from a Robins Point Road resident asking council to build a walkway on township property adjacent to their land.

“After we received the deed from the township, we noticed there are instruments for crossing and access for people in the neighbhourhood on Lot 7 and Lot 8 (township land),” writes Rana Randhawa. “Since then, we are experiencing harassment and verbal abuse from these people and could escalate.”

As a result, the resident is asking that a proper walkway be built on the municipally owned land, leading to the wooden dock at the end of the property.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and can be viewed online.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com