Petrolia staff suggest one per cent tax increase

Front Page | News.

Petrolia’s staff is budgeting for a one per cent tax increase in 2018.
Treasurer Rick Charlebois took four and a half hours Thursday to outline the draft document to councillors.
The town expects to bring in $7.01 million in revenue this year through taxation and grants. It will spend about $5.137 million on the day-to-day operations of the town, if council approves the budget at its Nov. 27 meeting. The public will get a chance to see the details of the document on Nov. 14 according to Charlebois.
The proposed increase would see the municipal taxes on a home assessed at $100,000 go up about $10 in 2018. The Sarnia Lambton Real Estate Board says the average home price is now $263,000 – making the increase about $26.
The draft budget shows $1.41 million of that will go to the administration of town including staff salaries, insurance, legal costs and the cost associated with Victoria Hall.
Public works will spend $1.247 million on salaries, roads, winter control, waste collection and street lights.
The other big ticket item is policing. The town will pay an estimated $1.003 million to the OPP for policing services in 2018. The budget also includes about $68,000 to deal with the increases to the minimum wage. It’s expect to rise to $14 per hour in 2018.
According to the town’s year end financial statement in 2016, Petrolia employs 36 full time and 68 part-time employees. It’s not clear if that is the current staff compliment.
An analysis of the budget shows a total of $2.365 million is budgeted for wages and benefits in 2018 – 41.7 per cent of the entire budget. That’s up $141,078 from 2017’s estimates.
Councillors wages will also go up slightly – at the same rate as the staff increase which is 1.75 per cent in 2018 according to the treasurer.
Charlebois says the town plans to spend $1.612 million on capital with about $1.3 million coming from the current years revenue. The rest will be covered by donations, reserves or borrowing.
Public works will spend the lion’s share with $500,000 set aside on road repairs, $25,000 for sidewalk replacement, $30,000 for consulting and $706,000 in the budget for the second phase of the Florence, Kerby and Egan reconstruction.
The town’s quarterly financial statements show the first phase was about $54,000 over budget. Charlebois is not sure if there will be federal and provincial grants for the second phase.
The budget shows the Oil Heritage District Community Centre will run a $450,000 deficit in 2018. It will cost $315,770 to provide upkeep to the town’s parks and recreational venues. Included in that budget according to Director of Facilities Dave Menzies is $10,000 to improve the trail on the north side of Bridgeview Park.
Victoria Playhouse Petrolia plans to renovate the box office. Officials say the $40,000 cost will be paid through donations.
The town is also planning to spend $50,000 to install an electronic sign surrounded by a sidewalk in Victoria Park. There is also plans to spend $10,000 on the hall’s bar and lobby, and $15,000 on new recycling/garbage bins at Victoria Hall.
The town has also budgeted $64,800 to replace the fire department’s radio system.
There are plans to purchase a wood chipper to shred tree branches at the road side.
The treasurer has also set aside $60,000 for composting adding council has to set direction for what service is needed.

One Response to “Petrolia staff suggest one per cent tax increase”

  1. Dave

    From the numbers presented here it looks like town staff and councilors are getting a 6% raise in 2018 and not 1.75%, unless my math is wrong. It would be nice if the rest of the Petrolia residents could get a 6% raise to help them afford increased taxes but I doubt that’s going to happen.