Tiny inches closer to a 1% blended tax increase

·2 min read

A 1% blended (municipal, county, and education) tax increase could soon be on the record for Tiny Township.

This Monday, staff returns with a report detailing all the changes council asked for at its previous budget meeting.

Items that were added at the Jan. 18 meeting, include spending $70,000 to hire a full-time human resources staff member, once options of service sharing with other North Simcoe municipalities have been explored.

Council also approved a 1% cost-of-living increase for staff wages, but chose to forego its own pay raise. The $1,800 saved from that move will be added to the Education Bursary. This means, a total of $7,800 will be available to students in Tiny Township this year.

A further reduction to the budget came in the form of funding for Tiny's contribution to the Penetanguishene Arena. The Town of Penetanguishene, which had requested an increase of $32,000 for 2021, will not be granted.

The report says, "As Tiny participates in funding three local area arenas (Midland, Penetanguishene and Springwater), in order to be fair and equitable for Tiny residents to have access to indoor arena facilities, Council recommended a fulsome review of the arena agreements and funding be done in 2021.

Further, council decided to provide $100,000 for a Midland-initiated affordable housing project from operating reserves, instead of taxation revenue.

More savings were realized by postponing the purchase of a pickup truck for the parks department.

As a result of all these cuts and savings, staff only had to find $8,500 in savings elsewhere to balance the budget.

"Staff recommend reducing the contribution to the Equipment Replacement Reserves for Roads for the difference," says the report. "This would change the amount presented in the budget from $285k down to $276.5k."

Where the meeting is mainly addressing the budget, there's also a letter from Tiny residents asking council to consider to pave Coutnac Beach Road.

A letter signed by Cathy and Mike Zeleniak says, "I would like to add my support for the paving of all the roads in the Coutnac Beach area. The unpaved roads in the area are very messy each spring as the road becomes sponge like with the freezing and unfreezing that take place."

The meeting begins Monday morning and will be live streamed on the township's YouTube channel.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com