Preliminary Puslinch 2022 capital budget set at $4.9 million

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PUSLINCH - Township of Puslinch staff have delivered a 2022 preliminary capital budget of $4.9 million.

At Wednesday's meeting, treasurer Mary Hasan delivered the proposed capital budget, which is $400,000 more than 2021.

“This amount includes grants, tax levy, reserves, development charges, surplus, and aggregate levy revenue, and it is preliminary as the budget is a reiterative process,” said Hasan.

“There was council direction at the meeting on Wednesday that will impact this amount. It is still preliminary at this stage, and the offsetting revenues and other sources of funding are still being finalized before we can determine the net impact of this year’s budget.”

Projects such as the playgrounds at Boreham Park and Puslinch Community Centre (PCC) park, the Kerr Crescent stormwater management facility, and the Gilmore culvert were hot topics at the meeting.

Council discussed the modernization of Boreham Park and the PCC park as the previous capital budget and forecast presented to Council had included the playground area at Boreham Park as a capital item in 2026 at a capital cost of $75,000.

They added the PCC park as part of the modernization project and moved it to 2023. Council also put a motion for staff to find out more funding opportunities such as the Accessibility Grant funding from the County for these projects on top of the proposed $230,000 budget.

“I know more kids play at the playground at the PCC park, so why not modernize both parks instead of just Boreham park,” said Coun. Jessica Goyda.

On top of this, a budget of $10,000 was set aside to convert the lighting at Puslinch Community Centre with LED lights; as well as a budget of $20,000 to replace the Morriston Meadows bleachers with three new sets.

The Kerr Crescent stormwater management facility has $408,938 of total funding aside to rehabilitate the facility by the means of tree and foliage removal, silt removal and regrading of embankments.

“We really want this moving. Our number one priority is to remove the dead ash from trees as quickly as possible,” said Mayor James Seeley.

Coun. Matthew Bulmer was skeptical about the funding and cost of the whole procedure, asking whether a potential cost sharing agreement is possible with the county.

Council unanimously agreed to come back and discuss possible cost recovery options for the stormwater management facility, including approaching the county for a potential cost sharing agreement.

On top of this, the Gilmore culvert replacement project had $630,000 of funding set aside, which will pay off the culvert relocation and replacement, upgrade the steel guide rail, and drainage works.

This year also saw capital grant funding of $223,665 from the Canada Community‐Building Fund.

“As a result of this additional top‐up funding, the township was able to utilize a higher amount of this fund of $544,000 for the proposed Gilmour Culvert Replacement project in 2022,” said Hasan.

The tax increase is set to be discussed at a later date in December.

Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com

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