Currently Browsing: The Issues

Amended 2018 Budget

An amended budget and business plan is on the Feb. 5 Council agenda.  As directed by Council in the previous Council meeting (Jan 29) Staff is presenting a budget offering a 0% increase in the Township property tax rate as opposed to an increase of 1.99%. To achieve either level of increase is remarkable given the need to absorb the costs of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces , Better Jobs Act which we estimate to be $300,000 (about 1 property tax point).  In addition both original and amended budget were done on basis of no reduction in service levels.

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Inclusionary Zoning

At February 5 Council meeting there is a Staff report reviewing feedback to Ministry of Municipal Affairs ‘s proposed regulations for inclusionary zoning. (The latter being policies requiring residential development proposals over a certain size to include a percentage of affordable housing.)  I am posting this as I believe that many people, including myself, are concerned about the cost of housing and how so much of it is beyond the fiscal abilities of so many.  This is not an issue which I have focused on.  I found this report to insightful as to what such policies might be. The recommendations proposed by Staff sound appropriate.

400-404 link Resolution

On Feb. 5 Council there is a draft resolution requesting that the design and construction of the Highway 400-404 link be expedited.  When we received a copy of a similar resolution from another municipality earlier I indicated that I would not be supporting it.  My reason:  over last couple years I have lobbied against the GTA West Corridor (Hwy 413).  I cannot now call for this link which will be 16 kilometers of pavement.  At a very macro level I understand the need; but, I do not understand the issues, the consequences of building it.

2018 Budget

An additional Council meeting has been scheduled for Monday Jan. 29 with the primary purpose of presentation and discussion of the draft 2018 Budget.  You can read Staff report and the draft budget here.  I will not comment on it as I have not reviewed it yet.   I will say that despite the aggressive schedule for approval. as indicated in the opening paragraph, I consider the target approval date (February 5 Council meeting) as not being cast in stone.

Sale of Current Municipal Offices

Staff report on Jan. 22 Council summarizes the negotiated agreement with Zancor for the purchase and sale of the current Township Offices & plaza.  Sale price is $10,750,000 which is 50% of total costs of new Town Hall, the new community facilities (gymnasium) and York Region Police (YRP) substation. The financing of the other 50% is the capital contribution from YRP, development charges, infrastructure reserve and about $4 million provided through debenture financing.  As reviewed in the report this negotiated agreement meets our needs in terms of timing and financial value.