Brooke-Alvinston Mayor Don McGugan is hoping council will bring in a budget with a tax increase of about three per cent.
But it may not be easy.
McGugan has calculated the municipality is facing a $300,000 hurdle. Brooke-Alvinston lost about $130,000 in provincial funding this year. It’s also looking at about $70,000 in increased costs because of provincial changes to labour laws including the minimum wage. McGugan says there is also another $50,000 for fire administration and about $20,000 to cover a 1.5 per cent wage increase for staff. The municipality also has to pay an extra $180,000 for its share of the county wide fire radio system.
Council holds another budget meeting March 12. McGugan says councillors will make some of the tough decisions at that time. “I don’t want an increase of anymore than three per cent…I don’t know if we can do that.” The one factor in the municipality’s favour is the recent property reassessment by the province. That showed a marked increase in farmland value and will translate into additional revenue for Brooke-Alvinston, McGugan says.
For more – pick up your copy of The Independent in a store near you.