Two capital project items in the budget that please Mayor Robert Kirby include a new rescue van for the East Hawkesbury Fire Department and plans to change the heating system for the community centre in Sainte-Anne-de-Prescott from electric to propane.
“There should be some savings there,” said Mayor Kirby during a December 21 phone interview, adding that reinsulation of the building is also part of the plan. The township will cost share the expense of changing over the community centre heating system through a senior-level government program.
The 2021 budget includes a funding allocation towards purchase of a fully equipped rescue van for the municipal fire department. Administration will make a tender call later in 2021 for proposals from companies that specialize in emergency vehicles. Mayor Kirby noted that the municipality should be able to avoid having to get a loan to help with purchase of a rescue van. “We also have some money put away for it,” he said.
The 2021 budget approved during council’s December 14 session. The total budget is $5,834,918, including a capital works allocation of $1,988,279. The municipal levy will be $2,297,043. This represents the property tax portion of the municipality’s revenue. Provincial and federal grants and other sources of revenue make up the rest of the total budget.
There will be a one per cent increase in municipal taxes, but there are increases planned for the user rates for garbage collection, recycling collection, or municipal sewage service.
For homeowners in the township, the one-per-cent tax increase equals an increase of $4.72 in residential property tax for every $100,000 of assessed value for a house and land. Council will confirm the tax rates for all property classes in the township at a later meeting in 2021.