South Glengarry council tentatively approved a 1.97 per cent tax increase at a special budget meeting March 21.
The increase means average homeowners will be paying $39.07 more for the residential property tax portion of their township tax bills in 2017, based on the MPAC assessment value of $202,183 for the average residence. That hike translates into an average township tax bill of $1,044 for 2017. The Counties’ levy, a 1.8 per cent increase from 2016, results in an additional $22. The education tax rate for 2017 has yet to be established.
South Glengarry councillor Lyle Warden expressed his desire last week to keep any tax rate increase “at the two, two-and-ahalf per cent range,” the average increase over the past several years. Thanks to some major cuts to the initial draft budget total of $9,237,627 – totalling approximately $ 624,000 – and after three-and-a-half-hours of discussions – that goal was achieved.
An initially-allotted $390,000 for repairs to the bridge on Third Line Road near Bainsville was sliced to $130,000.
General manager of infrastruc- ture services Ewen MacDonald explained that completion of the project in 2017 was “conditional on funding” and that the municipality intends to submit an application to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to help offset the cost of the project.
The $ 130,000 would be the township’s one-third share of the cost, while the federal and provincial governments would split two-thirds of the bill.
Additional savings were realized when council opted to turn down grant requests in the amounts of $32,789 and $35,000, respectively, from a group looking to stage a Canadian sesquicentennial event (Classiqu’Arts SD&G 150) at the St. Raphael’s Ruins this August, and from the Cornwall/SDG Your Arts Council (YAC).
Council also agreed that a $ 100,000 request from the Glengarry Fencibles Trust – the local, not-for-profit citizens group seeking to revitalize the Bishop’s House in St. Raphael’s – which was initially a request for $25,000 a year over the next five years, should be cut to $25,000 for 2017.
The township’s 2017 net requirement, the total dollar value in taxes that it needs to collect this year to maintain its current level of services, is $8,613,627 – or $544,051 more than the 2016 total of $8,069,576.