“We’re happy to provide more services,” said Mayor Stéphane Sarrazin during an interview. “It’s not a drastic increase, but if we want to provide services. We need to spend some money.”
Township council approved the 2020 municipal budget during a special session February 18. The total budget for the township this year is $12.8 million, which includes a $2.1 million capital works portion.
The 2020 budget will see a 3.01 per cent tax increase. For the average homeowner with a house and property valued at $250,000, that would mean an increase of $50.28 on the municipal portion of the tax bill. Homeowners with higher or lower-valued property would see different increases to their municipal property tax, while owners of commercial or industrial properties will be charged different rates.
The annual property tax bill includes more than just the municipal levy. The municipality is also responsible for collecting the property taxes charged by the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, all school districts operating within the municipal area, and property taxes for other agencies like the South Nation Conservation Authority. Those tax monies are then forwarded to their respective assessors.
Municipal works plan
One of the larger capital works expenses for this year is a new pumper truck for the township’s fire department. Cost is estimated at $388,000. The new truck is necessary to maintain the municipality’s fire protection insurance rating.
Other capital works projects covered in this year’s budget include new boat launch ramps for the Wendover and Lefaivre marinas, paving of the pedestrian path at Parc St-Denis, and paving of the gravel portion of the Wendover community centre parking lot.
Road improvements, street lighting work, and some other equipment needs for a total of approximately $1.4 million make up the bulk of the capital works portion of the budget.