Currently Browsing: The Issues

Amended Budget

On 3/18 Council agenda there is a report on an amended draft budget for 2019 and the 3 following years.  The amended one proposes a 2.3% increase (as opposed to 2.8%) on the township portion of the tax rate.  I think the proposal overall is reasonable although there are some individual choices about which I am not fully convinced.  Council is being asked to approve only the 2019 operating budget and 4 years of capital.   As was the case for 2018, if the assessed value of your property increases more than 6.56 % you will see the local municipal portion of your tax bill to increase more than 2.8%.  If it increased less than 6.56% it will increase less and may decrease.  I am interested to know what you think about this budget proposal; below I have provided some comments about the specifics.  (more…)

How To Spend Your Tax Dollars

The 2019 budget is underway.  Answer the survey to indicate your choice of priorities.  The link takes you to a survey.

To participate in the survey you need to register with speaking.ca. If you haven’t done so you can easily do so when you click on the link provided above.  As I reported earlier this is an this is an engagement tool we have launched.  Currently when you access it you can answer the survey on the budget; you can also provide input to the “refresh” for the Sustainability Plan.  I encourage you to register and be engaged with what is being planned for your community.

“Open For Business”: putting our community at risk

I am extremely concerned about Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act which has recently been introduced by the Province.  I believe it puts our community at risk, as it allows municipalities to bypass planning policies and clean water regulations in our communities, including by-laws that override Greenbelt Act prohibitions. (Schedule 10 of Bill 66 is particularly concerning.)

If municipalities adopt the “Open For Business”zoning by-law as proposed in Section 10 developers will be exempt from:

  • Giving public notice about their development;
  • Consulting with the public or local Councillors about their developments;
  • Appeals to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) about their developments; and,
  • Greenbelt, Clean Water Act, Growth Plan or Great Lakes Protection Act Regulations.

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Facilities Masterplan draft

Parks Recreation & Culture is commencing the renewal of its 5 year master; one was done in 2013 which has guided initiatives since then and now its time to look forward 5 years. At July 9 Council a draft of the plan focusing on Facilities was presented. The issues identified in this plan are critical for the 2019 budget and beyond. For example we need to decide whether we fund a thorough “invasive” investigation of the facilities to determine condition or do we add significant contingencies to any building project. More complex will be determining whether we will maintain buildings where usage is low and/or declining. I encourage you to look over this report and provide feedback.

In fall and winter plans will be presented for Parks & Forestry Services and Community Services.

Note: Its not my practice to report on Council decisions after they are made. Due to technical issues I was not able to make a post on this report before the July 9 Council meeting. As it is still possible to provide feedback I am posting now.

King City Library and Seniors Centre is Approved!

Council has approved the construction and the budget for the King City Library and Seniors Centre. This community hub meets the needs of our Seniors and our library users. For the Seniors there is benefit due to a change in programme opportunities and more space. For the library users there is not only more space but a configuration appropriate for contemporary needs and the digital world. Very importantly this facility is being financed in a manner respectful of the tax payor. Total budget is $10.7 million. 50% is funded by development charges. 28% ($3 million) is funded by a 10 year debenture. Staff report provides full review.

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