FORT ERIE (February 8, 2021) Fort Erie Town Council approved in principle the 2021 proposed budget with an increase of 0.32 per cent for the Town’s portion of the residential property tax. When the Niagara Region and the Boards of Education levies are included, the combined increase for residential taxpayers in Fort Erie is 0.90 per cent.
For the average median home (includes town homes, apartments & detached homes) assessed at $200,300, this increase translates to an additional $2.22 monthly. The assessed value is provided by MPAC and is different than the market value of homes.
“Council’s priority this year was keeping taxes low while our community continues to deal with the financial effects of the ongoing global pandemic,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop. “Since March last year, we have been committed to assisting our residents and business owners in a variety of ways to help alleviate some of the stress that has been brought on by COVID-19. I am very pleased to say that staff’s resourcefulness and the Town’s positive financial position have provided Council with an opportunity to minimize local tax impacts this year.”
The operating budget of $29 million will deliver town services and expands some strategic areas such as transit and rural ditching. The following are a few items approved under the Town’s operating budget:
- $45,000 (0.16%) for Capital Reserves for Bridge & Culvert Refurbishing
- $137,000 (0.48%) for Rural Ditching program
- $41,050 (0.14%) for Municipal Law Enforcement Officer (spring/summer) wages
- $50,000 (0.18%) for a Residential Hospice Niagara expansion in Fort Erie
The 2021 Operating Budget also included several one-time requests that will be funded from strategic reserves. For example, $150,000 will be funded by the GLRS Reserve for Southend-Riverwalk Archaeological Assessment Study and $90,000 will be funded by the Parkland Reserve for Waterfront Landscape Design Guidelines and Standards.
“The 2021 budget comes at a very challenging time with a lot of financial unknowns. Some revenue and expense risks will be temporary and others will be sustained beyond 2021. The budget we developed proposed a very limited number of additions and used COVID-19 funding from the Federal and Provincial government together with Town reserves to keep tax increases low while maintaining the core and essential services the Town provides,” said Jonathan Janzen, Town Treasurer.
In addition to the Operating Budget, Town Council approved Fort Erie’s 2021 Capital Budget and 2022 to 2031 Forecast. The Capital Budget consists of 64 projects with a total cost of $16,842,670. The budget includes works related to roads, bridges, sidewalks, water, wastewater, and Fire and Emergency Services.
Some of the larger Capital projects include:
- $2.3 million for the Lindbergh Watermain and Sewer Replacement project
- $1.3 million for the 2021 Road Resurfacing program
- $950,000 for the Albert Street Park renovation
- $700,000 for the 2021 Road Reconstruction program
- $750,000 for the EJ Freeland Centre flat roof replacement
On January 18, 2021, Town Council approved Fort Erie’s 2021 Water and Wastewater budget for $19,496,501, which supports high standards of service delivery at a cost increase of 0.48 per cent or $0.59 per month for the average household.
– 30 –