A proposed five to eight percent tax increase in Cramahe Township

3d render of growing taxation concept

By Mandy Martin
CRAMAHE TWP. — Expect a 5-8% tax increase in Cramahe Twp. taxes this year. At present, the municipality is planning to raise $5,878,810 to operate in 2018, nearly 13% more than in 2017.
While the total value of properties on which taxes are levied has increased nearly 2% this year, so has the need to provide more services, cover the increase in the cost of living, energy, etc, Cramahe Treasurer Nicole Leach-Bihun noted at Cramahe Twp. council Jan. 16.
“Last year, the 1% increase in levy actually provided less taxes for the municipality to keep up with our asset management planning,” the treasurer said.
By heavily drawing on existing reserve funds, provincial and other grants and income from permits and other services, the 11 percent tax levy increase from the preliminary budget could be reduced to the 5-8% mark council learned.
The next budget meeting will be Feb. 6 where the five elected council members are being asked to approve or nix the list of proposed projects for 2018 from a “wish list” (see below) prepared after consultation with staff.
Staff plans to come back to council with the final budget revisions for approval on Feb. 20.
Cramahe Twp. 2018 budget “wish list”:
• Website update: $40,000
$20,000 from the tax levy, $20,000 from funding
• Thermal imaging unit for the fire department: $10,000
To come from reserve funds
• Keeler Centre LED high bay lighting retrofit: $75,000
$31,500 from gas tax return, $43,000 on the tax levy
• Building soccer fields at the Keeler Centre: $50,000
To come from the tax levy
There is some discussion about delaying this for a year to assess enrolment or approaching the project over several years’ time.
* Demolition of the lawn bowling clubhouse: $15,000
To come from the tax levy
* Colborne Public Library renovation: $251,000
$150,000 Trillium funding, $101,000 from reserve funds
The building is deemed unstable and beyond restoration.
* Colborne Town Hall third floor renovation: $90,000
To come from reserve funds
* Fibre optic internet hardware install at the Keeler Centre, Castleton Town Hall, Colborne Town Hall and Colborne Library: $30,600
To come from the tax levy
* Sidewalk tractor replacement: $47,300
To come from the tax levy
* One one-ton truck replacement: $72,000
To come from reserves
* One tractor: $220,000
To come from reserves
* Bridge repairs: $141,500
To come from reserves
* Ontario Street, Colborne, reconstruction: $700,000
Cost to come from the sale of 12 semi residential units
There is some debate at council about the municipality acting as a developer to sell lots to raise the funds.
* A sodium bisulphate building at the treatment plant: $55,000
To come from reserves
* Sanitary sewer infiltration inspections and repairs: $60,000
To come from reserves
On the list but still not approved for this year:
• A building/planning customer service coordinator: $53,755
• A new public works employee.
• At the Feb. 6 meeting, the Colborne Public Library will appear as a delegation to request additional funds to continue Cramahe Archives work.

The budget is not finalized.

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