St. Marys Town Council approves 2021 budget

·1 min read

By Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Town Treasurer Andre Morin joined last Tuesday's St. Marys Town Council meeting for the culmination of the months-long process of crafting the 2021 municipal budget.

Morin has spoken with Council on multiple occasions throughout the budget process and many of those details have been reported on previously in the Independent. The key takeaways start with the tax levy increase of $12,799,710, which equates to a property tax net increase of 0.85 percent. When other municipal costs are included, such as water, sewer, and solid waste, the average St. Marys household will see a total increase of 1.01 percent.

Councillor Tony Winter commended Town staff on crafting a draft budget. The Town's cautious approach to dealing with the pandemic reflects well in the adopted budget with a property tax increase of under one percent. For comparison, the City of Stratford passed their budget earlier this year with a tax levy increase of just over two percent, while Perth County and the City of London both passed budgets with tax increases of over three percent.

Before passing the budget by-law, Mayor Al Strathdee spoke on the budget process, saying that he felt this year's process went even more smoothly than last year, even with the hindrances imposed on Town staff and the Council. He credited Town staff for their hard work and diligence during the process. As requested by Councillor Winter, because of the importance of the legislation, a recorded vote was held and the 2021 budget was approved unanimously.

Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Marys Independent