The Independent Staff
Another year of funding cuts from the province will likely mean another above the rate of inflation spending increase in Dawn-Euphemia.
The township has begun crunching its numbers for the 2018 budget and Treasurer Brad Fox says there will need to be about $192,000 more raised in taxes this year. That’s a 6.26 per cent increase in spending.
Mayor Al Broad says taxpayers can thank the provincial government for some of that.
“Four per cent of that is due to the cut back in OMPF (Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund) funding,” says Broad.
This year the municipality will lose over $80,000 in that grant line alone.
“We have no where to absorb that cut. We can only do it by cutting back on some capital projects.”
But that isn’t easy either.
“We have 10 large scale culvert bridges which need to be replaced. It’s between $400 and $600,000 each to replace them.
“They have to be replaced in the next 10 years.”
He adds right now, small municipalities have a hard time getting grants to complete the work meaning Dawn-Euphemia will “have to use more of our own dollars” to make the repairs.
Broad says council is still waiting for a few numbers to come in before setting the final budget but he expects the spending increase to be over the rate of inflation.
Fox is hopeful lower tax rate at the County of Lambton and for education will mean the tax rate won’t go up more that two per cent.
The township will hold its public budget meeting Jan. 8, and is expected to pass the document soon after.