One per cent tax levy increase recommended for Erin in 2021

·2 min read

TOWN OF ERIN – Erin residents are looking at a small tax increase based on a preliminary 2021 town budget.

A preliminary budget report presented at a special meeting Tuesday evening by Ursula D’Angelo, director of finance, recommends an $80,000 increase to the tax levy working out to 1 per cent or $15 on a $500,000 residential assessment.

The total operating budget works out to nearly $12.3 million.

D’Angelo explained that the town had seen some sharp increases in taxes over the last decade and they were trying to avoid any big increases.

For 2021, there are over $25.7 million in capital requests with a large majority being for the initial phase of the wastewater treatment plant.

D’Angelo explained that the wastewater treatment plant is split into three large projects over the next few years.

The portion next year will total a little over $23 million with $15 million funded from development charges and $8 million proposed as debt for the being as grants and other means of funding are pursued.

“Although I have put it in debt, that’s really a placeholder as council continues to negotiate agreements with developers,” D’Angelo said. “That does not mean we are going to be going into debt.”

Non-wastewater projects make up for $2.4 million of this budget.

The biggest of these is $835,000 to replace a culvert on Sideroad 17 west of 8th Line. There is also a recommendation to purchase two light fire rescue vehicles at $360,000, a $300,000 snow plow and $300,000 on a tar and chip service for some gravel roads.

Councillor Michael Robins commended D’Angelo on an easy to read budget but also wanted her to consider some items that have regularly gone over-budget in prior years such as vehicle maintenance and have the 2021 budget reflect this.

He also asked her to consider relying more on their staff rather than outside experts.

“The town has hired capable young professionals and I would like to see us wean ourselves off consultants,” Robins said.

Mayor Allan Alls was in agreement with Robins on the quality of the budget presentation calling it the best he’s seen in his years on council.

There were no changes made on this day as the report was accepted for information.

On Wednesday night there will be a telephone town hall meeting on the budget at 6 p.m. for the public to give input into the budget.

To participate, call: 1-855-756-7520 extension 68586#.

Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com