(continued)
Budget for 2016 approved by Council
by Sandy Lindsay

February 8, 2016
www.saugeentimes.com

Town Council

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Saugeen Shores has a new budget set for 2016 following Monday night's (Feb. 8) meeting of Council when it was approved.

The total 2016 budget to keep the town operating and services maintained is $32,302,299 with revenues of $20,235,108.

Therefore, the tax levy has been set at $12,067,191 which will finance Operating and Capital budgets and that includes growth of $205,000 (1.84%) and a levy of $646,000(5.9) for a total levy increase of $851,000 (figures rounded).

The budget follows several meetings that saw significant reductions to both Operating and Capital budgets by department heads to reduce the original preliminary levy increase of more than 12 per cent.  The new figure arrived at also incudes a transfer from the Tax Stabilization Reserve of $90,000.

Although there were several reductions made, there are also service enhancements that Council felt are needed and that were approved:

*Addition of a Community Economic Development Officer

*An increase of funding for the Municipal Heritage Committee

*Support for the Chamber/BIA trolley initiative

*Creation of a Fire Fighter Wellness program

*An increase to Bridge Reserve transfer

*An increase to Tree & Vegetation Control to deal with the Emerald Ash Borer and aging tree canopy

*An increase to the Airport budget

*Addition of seasonal staff for Waterfront maintenance

*Additional funding for Rail Trail grant

 

There are also several major projects that have been included and approved in the 2016 budget, including:

  • Strategic Plan

  • Fire fighter personal protective equipment replacement

  • purchase of a replacement fire truck and equipment replacement

  • Downtown Port Ellgin decorative street lights

  • Traffic signal changes and upgrades

  • Sewer work completions

  • Fairy Lake improvements

  • Tourist Camp washroom upgrades

  • Waterfront Master Plan initial steps

  • Drawings for a new Pool facility

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The 2015 budget also includes the town's commitment of $40,000 to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Capital Campaign for the ER expansion and a decrease of $10,000 to the Police Services Board budget.

In the end, according to Treasurer Sue Dent, the average property of $282,000 will see an increase of $115 over last year or a 3.94 per cent increase, blended with the County (3.66%) and Board of Education levies (Board of Education not yet finalized).


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Tuesday, February 09, 2016