LV levy jumps 8.64%

Lau­ren­tian Val­ley coun­cil fi­nal­izes 2017 bud­get, ap­prov­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­creases

The Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - CÉLINA IP cip@postmedia.com

LAU­REN­TIAN VAL­LEY – The town­ship wrapped up its 2017 bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions with the fi­nal pass­ing of the bud­get by­law, which sets out sig­nif­i­cant in­creases.

At the reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on Tues­day night coun­cil ap­proved its 2017 bud­get for gen­eral pur­poses, street lights, waste­water and waste col­lec­tion pur­poses.

The 2017 gen­eral bud­get re­vealed a sig­nif­i­cant levy in­crease of 8.64 per cent, rep­re­sent­ing $358,623 – much higher than 2016’s 2.9 per cent levy.

“I’m never pleased when we have to have an in­crease but that’s to­day’s day and age – it’s the busi­ness that we run and we run it as best we can,” said Lau­ren­tian Val­ley Mayor Steve Ben­nett. “We had a few ob­sta­cles this year that re­ally hurt our rev­enues and we couldn’t off­set it, so we’ve had to in­cur an in­crease. We need to bal­ance our books in the end and I know the tax­pay­ers won’t be to­tally happy with an eight per cent in­crease, but we still carry a very low tax levy in the county. We’ve got to bite the bul­let, move for­ward and hope­fully we have a bet­ter year.”

This in­crease in­cludes 1.4 per cent of 2016 growth (or $64,835) and a 5.2 per cent in­crease due to sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial as­sess­ment re­duc­tions fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of a Mu­nic­i­pal Prop­erty As­sess­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (MPAC) ap­peal.

The levy change was also in­curred due to a dras­tic in­crease in the town­ship’s pub­lic works win­ter main­te­nance costs which ex­ceeded the bud­geted amount by ap­prox­i­mately $160,000.

For res­i­den­tial tax­pay­ers, the tax im­pact re­sults in an in­crease of $27.25 per $100,000 as­sess­ment.

The 2017 waste­water levy re­mains the same at $474,785. The waste­water tax rates will be brought for­ward for ap­proval on June 6. Coun­cil de­cided to leave the levy the same while re­duc­ing the trans­fer to re­serves and ab­sorb­ing the 10.9 per cent ($51,685) im­pact for com­mer­cial as­sess­ment re­duc­tions for the years 2011 to 2016. This will de­crease the im­pact of these re­duc­tions to waste­water users.

The 2017 street light levy re­mains the same at $37,940. The rate for prop­erty own­ers that ben­e­fit from street­lights re­mains at $35 per year.

Waste col­lec­tion rates will also re­main the same at $160 per house­hold.

The high­lights of the ap­proved bud­get in­clude: a joint con­struc­tion project with the Town of Petawawa for a por­tion of Achray Road; a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project of Cheryl Street which will in­clude road base and storm sewer work; de­tailed en­gi­neer­ing plans for road, waste­water, storm sewer and wa­ter projects on Joe Street, Roy Street and other lo­ca­tions; and sev­eral recre­ation projects in­clud­ing the rink boards at Alice and Fraser Recre­ation Cen­tre.

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