Warwick socking away cash for life after Waste Management

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Warwick Township residents won’t see a big jump in their municipal taxes.
Township Treasurer Trevor Jarrett presented the 2018 draft budget Monday to councillors. It includes a one per cent increase and a plan to make sure the community is salting away money from the Twin Creek’s Landfill revenue for the future.
The township plans to spend about $2.6 million on operating costs – things such as plowing roads and delivering services – and another $1.7 million on capital projects in 2018 – the bulk of which will be spent on roads.
The township isn’t taking on new debt this year, opting instead to use money from landfill revenues to pay most of the capital projects and some of the town’s operating costs.
It’s also setting aside about $30,000 to help deal with the cost of increasing the minimum wage although Jarrett says its not clear exactly what that will cost.
A one per cent tax increase will bring an extra $20,000 into the township. It will also get another $132,000 due to increased assessment.
Jarrett added the tax burden is shifting because of the changes in assessment. In the 2018 tax year, 31.5 per cent of the tax will be paid by farms up from 29.8 per cent in 2017.
But Jarrett is quick to point out Warwick’s tax rate is the lowest in Lambton County with  an average tax per household of about $603.
And while the budget focuses on 2018, Jarrett is also planning 25 years in advance, when the township won’t be getting huge revenue cheques from Waste Management.
Jarrett told councillors the township is socking away money from the revenue so when the landfill closes, it will have enough money to fund capital projects on interest. He estimates the township could have as much as $63 million in the bank to fund the capital costs of the municipality after the landfill revenue has stopped flowing.
That, coupled with using the cash to rebuild infrastructure will put the municipality in a good spot according to the mayor.
“It’s an insurance policy to the community,” says Todd Case. “We should be in very good shape.”

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