Warwick decides against increasing taxes due to ‘extraordinary times’

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Warwick Township homeowners won’t be paying more for municipal taxes this year.
That’s a shift from recent years as Treasurer Trevor Jarrett urged council to slowly but steadily raise taxes to fully pay for operating costs. The township had been using some of the tipping fees generated by Waste Management for operations in the past.
The proposed 2022 budget built in a 2.5 per cent increase which would have brought in about $65,000 more in taxes. But councillors decided against it.
The 2022 budget has $11,799,000 in spending. In 2021, the township budgeted about $11,200,000 but spent according to the budget documents $8.1 million. That’s despite spending over $800,000 more than planned in the general government area in 2021.
The public got its first look at what the new administration building in Watford will cost.
The 2022 budget maps out $190,842 in spending for the leased building, including $108,000 for the first year’s lease. That money will come out of the reserves.
There will be $7.24 million in capital spending funded in large part by the revenue generated Waste Management. They amounted to over $2 million in 2020. The township will also take $2.3 million from reserves to fund some of the projects.
In a presentation to council, Jarrett says the biggest building project, the $11.5 million East Lambton Community Centre, will be paid through a low interest loan from Infrastructure Ontario. He adds staff is still looking for grant funding for the project.
The township will also spend $30,000 on studies for wayfaring signs and marketing for the township.
Council agreed to spend $350,000 on the Watford fire hall.
After hearing the budget presentation, Councillor Todd White said “given the year we’ve gone through, do you think we could forego an increase this year?”
Jarrett said that was the route other municipalities were going, considering the cost pressures people are facing. Jarrett said $65,000 would come out of revenues however there is likely to be extra income because of growth.
Councillor Wayne Morris says he normally would want to continue with small increases but these are “extraordinary times – let it go.”