The Town of Fort Erie Budget Committee approved the 2018 Operating Budget with an increase of 3.15 per cent and an overall residential property tax increase of 1.10 per cent when combined with Niagara Region and the boards of education levies.
“The primary challenge is ensuring that there are sufficient funds to replace the aging infrastructure that was built generations ago and is nearing the end of its life,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop. “In order to ensure that we have the infrastructure to meet the needs of our residents and businesses, Town Council has been strategically setting aside 1 to 2 per cent of our budget annually since 2013. This will ensure that the future generations do not bear our Town’s share of the burden of maintaining our infrastructure,” said Redekop.
The town’s portion of the increase included:
- $386,000 (1.50 per cent) to capital reserves to address the infrastructure deficit;
- $252,000 (1.00 per cent) for transit enhancements;
- $130,000 (0.52 per cent) to increase service levels in areas such as rural ditching and municipal law enforcement.
The 2018 Operating Budget also included several one-time requests that will be funded from strategic reserves and an increase in provincial grant funding to limit the overall increase. For example, $400,000 was included for tree removal related to the Emerald Ash Borer devastation and $300,000 to the Niagara Region to facilitate construction of the new long-term care facility.
“The 2018 Operating Budget takes advantage of a number of opportunities,” said Treasurer Jonathan Janzen. “Maturing debt costs of $136,000 were used to address the Town’s infrastructure deficit. Development related revenues continue to be strong and were increased to mitigate tax increases. The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) increased for 2018 and was used to fund the impacts of a number of one-time supplementary initiatives.”
Please visit the Town’s website at forterie.ca for further details on the 2018 Budget.
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