Petrolia residents likely paying two percent more in taxes


 Town Councilors meet with residents to talk about the budget.

Petrolia residents will be paying about 1.9 percent more in taxes this year.

Town Council passed the $5.9 million budget Monday. It includes an extra $115,000 increase for police services and an extra $20,000 for snow removal. The town has already spent $34,000 on snow removal this year.

Mayor John McCharles says there will also be a number of capital projects including completing Princess Street, replacing baseball diamond lights, sidewalk improvements, street lighting and a new town entrance sign.

“The town is positioning itself to take advantage of any federal or provincial infrastructure funding that may become available such as the recently announced federal Building Canada initiative which will help fund municipal infrastructure,” says McCharles.

Councilor Mary-Pat Gleeson says council can thank town staff for their work bringing in a reasonable budget. “I appreciate that staff worked so hard to trim their specific departments,” she says. “I’m so pleased staff understands we are all in this together.

“And I think this is a good budget for our future as well.”

McCharles agrees. “We appreciate staff coming with a budget which is basically a budget to approve,” he says. “There were not a lot of things to cut or realign…we’re satisfied.”

The budget on its own would require a 3.5 percent tax increase but since the province has lowered the amount of education taxes it collects, residents will only notice a 1.9 percent increase in their bills. That could be reduced further if Lambton County councilors are able to keep their portion of the tax down. It meets in mid-March to finalize the document.