Temagami starts 2021 budget discussions

·3 min read

By Jamie Mountain

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

TEMAGAMI – Temagami council and staff have begun discussions on the municipality’s 2021 budget.

A one per cent increase in the tax levy has been proposed, it was noted during a nearly two-hour special meeting of council on March 10.

If the budget was approved and the assessment did not change, the tax levy would increase by 0.58 per cent, assuming that the amount assessed in 2021 is the same as it was in 2020.

For an average ratepayer, it would equal an increase of $12.

If the property is in the village and has all services with no changes in assessment, the total levy would decrease by three per cent.

If the property is in Temagami North (no grinder pump charge) and has all services, the total levy would increase by 1.2 per cent.

Temagami has fully repaid the grinder pump debt.

The proposed water rate is $1,221.83, or an increase of 1.92 per cent and sewer rates are expected to increase slightly by 0.53 per cent to $365.05.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

In terms of capital projects for 2021, there are two bigger ticket items slated that council has yet to determine how they will be funded.

One project is the acquisition of its waste sites from the province (including the required studies) at an estimated cost of $205,500 and the other is the third phase of the Temagami North ditch rehabilitation project, which is estimated at $170,000.

Temagami also is acquiring long-term debt this year to fund its water and wastewater projects.

Temagami was approved for the debt last year through Infrastructure Ontario and it will finance the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) filtration system for the Temagami North Lagoon, as required by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, and repair to both of the water towers.

Temagami says it is expecting to receive $1.65-million in financing, although it will match what the municipality’s costs in those areas are.

With the ditch rehabilitation project, it has been deferred while other processes are completed to pinpoint where the municipality has infiltration in its sanitary sewer system.

When the studies are complete, and rehabilitation is recommended, the timing and funding decisions for the third phase of the ditch project will be considered by council.

The waste site acquisition project includes the proposed expansion of the Strathy site. Expansion would increase the overall life expectancy of Temagami’s waste sites and decrease the liability for future closure costs.

Capital projects in Temagami are estimated to total $3,365,950 this year.

OPERATIONS

Temagami’s operations costs are expected to increase this year by $84,445, or 1.29 per cent.

That is due to costs associated with the Timiskaming Health Unit, the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board and Au Chateau (a long-term care home in Sturgeon Falls).

All three of those are payments over which Temagami has no control.

Aside from that, the municipality’s operating budget is $2,000 higher than it was in 2020.

More information can be found at www.temagami.ca.

Council received the draft budget presentation and have asked staff to request public comments that can be considered prior to council considering the tax rate and user charge bylaws, which then approves the budget.

You can send your comments via email to communicate@temagami.ca or through mail/drop box by March 31.

Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker