Plympton-Wyoming taxes heading up three per cent

338

The average Plympton-Wyoming homeowner will likely be pulling out an extra three per cent from their pocket for municipal taxes this year.

Council is proposing a $21,123,406 operating budget and a $8,117,710 capital budget for 2023. That means a 3.1 per cent tax increase. Officials say for every $100,000 of a home’s assessed value that adds about another $20 to the tax bill. The average home in the town costs about $400,000.

One of the biggest drivers of the increase is the cost of insurance. The town’s premiums went up 17 per cent, or an extra $105,571. That’s one third of the increase this year. 

Mayor Gary Atkinson says this has been a problem for municipalities across the province for a couple of years.

“Even he previous council, when we found out things were going up like that, we kept saying, ‘Can you look for other prices?’ And staff comes back and says, ‘Look, we’d love to do it, but there’s nobody else out there.’ So they got they kind of got the monopoly sewn  up.”

Atkinson says right now there are only one or two brokers in the province which will insure municipalities.

The budget also includes about $100,000 to improve Highland Glen. The municipality has an agreement with the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority to run the park. It has already repaired the boat launch for the coming season.

“One of the things we are looking at is probably doing some roadwork there,” says Atkinson noting the parking lots in the area may be expanded this spring.

 “Also the washrooms are the major issues that we had – just remember last year we had to conservation when doing they weren’t doing anything to the washroom, so we ended up putting porta potties in,” he says.  

“We want to clean that mess up.”

That could be costly. The permanent washrooms at the site are in bad shape and have been closed to the public for a number of years now.

The town also put  $1.1 million from the reserves to fund the new public works building project valued at $3.65 million. It’s a couple years down the road yet.

Spending on Plympton-Wyoming’s roads will be over eight per cent higher than last year – about $448,000 more. There are major builds on Michigan Line, Front and Plympton Streets planned in 2023.

Fisher Line between Brush and Forest Road, the 402 overpass approaches on Uttoxeter and Camlachie Roads, Wanstead Road from the tracks to Confederation and Elevator Street in Wanstead will all be repaved this year.

The town plans to improve the Camlachie fire hall’s washroom to meet accessibility standards. The washrooms at the municipal office will also be upgraded to meet accessibility standards. The town is also buying a new chair lift for the Wyoming pool to help people with differing abilities get in and out of the water. 

“We did make sure is that lift that we are getting now we can utilize it in the new pool also,” says Atkinson.

Chief Administrative Officer Carolyn Tripp says there is also money set aside  for a public consultation process “to determine what the public would like to do” with the former Plympton Town Hall. The municipality has not been renting the frame building on Egremont Road for over a year now. A consultant on historic buildings looked at the hall and suggested it should be saved because of its architectural value. Atkinson says there is much work to be done there including accessible washrooms, a new stage and repairs just about everywhere.

 Town staff was suggesting a four per cent tax increase, however Tripp says staff made some changes, using reserve money. Council also “decided to conduct a Strategic Priorities review rather than a full-blown Strategic plan using a consultant. Tripp estimates that will save about $20,000.

The budget needs council’s final approval after a public meeting. 

By the Numbers

$21,124,406 – total operating budget

√ $8,117,710 – total capital budget

√ $105,571 – the total increase in insurance premiums about one per cent of the tax increase this year

√ $7,954,000 – the amount of money PW would have to spend each year to repair all its infrastructure

√ $486.05 – the money it would cost to actually do that work per $100,000 of assessment per home

√ $5,082,774 – reserves used to help pay for projects in 2023

√ $380,348 – the added taxes generated by housing growth in town

√ 3.6 – the percentage both the water and sewage bills will increase in 2023

√ $45- the yearly cost of that water and sewage increase.  

√ $150,000 – the amount of a Trillium Grant to be used on the Lakeshore Road Trail

√ $82,962 – the increase in spending for administration of the town – a 4.8 per cent increase

√ $23,707 – the increase in the spending for the fire department – a 2.6 per cent increase

√ $188,740 – the budget for spending on council pay and expenses.

√ $41,383 the increase in council pay over 2022