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le Jeudi 7 novembre 2019 16:58 | mis à jour le 8 avril 2022 19:18 Reflet-News (Russell-Embrun-Casselman)

Russell Township 2020 budget approved

Russell Township Town Hall in Embrun — archives
Russell Township Town Hall in Embrun
Russell Township now has its 2020 budget signed, sealed and approved.

“The administration was able to present a very thoughtful budget,” said Mayor Pierre Leroux, near the end of the November 4 regular session.

The original budget document which staff presented to council last month proposed a two-per-cent increase in property taxes. During several days of line-by-line review of the budget document and discussion about municipal needs and priorities, council directed administration to revise the 2020 budget to allow for a four-per-cent increase, which is covered in the municipal levy portion of municipal revenue. The levy is composed of local property taxes.

“I think that four per cent is quite reasonable,” said Mayor Leroux, regarding the tax increase, “and we’re investing it in the right places.”

Budget highlights

The 2020 budget is $40,359,406 in total, and includes a municipal levy of $12,661,468 in property taxes for collection as part of municipal revenue. The four-per-cent increase in taxes for next year’s budget means that the average homeowner, whose house and land is assessed at $332,000 value, will see an increase of $64 on their property tax bill from the municipality.

One of the reasons for doubling the tax increase for the 2020 budget is that the township must address public concerns about the condition of some of the municipality’s roads, which were not part of the 2020 infrastructure improvement schedule. A 1% increase in the municipality’s property tax revenues is equivalent to $120,000.

Council received a list from administration of five neighbourhood roads which were not on the original 2020 capital works project list but which have been the focus of complaints from area residents because of their condition. Council will review the list and decide which one of the five streets will benefit next year from the $120,000 dedicated to extra street work.

The other additional one-per-cent tax increase represents money which council wants invested in the reserve fund created to prepare for the future sports and recreation complex project. Homeowners and business owners can look forward to no increases in the fixed user fee rates for water and sewer service or in the variable water consumption rate charge.