FORT ERIE (February 3, 2022) Fort Erie Town Council approved in principle the 2022 budget with an increase of 2.15 per cent for the Town’s portion of the residential property tax. For the median house assessed at $200,300, this increase translates to an additional $29 per year.
The assessed value is provided by MPAC and is different than the market value of homes. When the Niagara Region and the Boards of Education levies are included, the combined increase for residential taxpayers in Fort Erie is 2.20 per cent.
“Strategic financial planning is extremely important as we continue navigating through this pandemic. We are preparing for the next 10 years and beyond to ensure future generations are not left carrying the burden. I’m especially proud of Council’s impact in meeting the Town’s infrastructure gap. Responsible financial planning has given us a strong foundation and the ability to be flexible with our future projects and initiatives,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop.
The operating budget of $30.5 million will deliver town services and expand some strategic areas such as affordable housing and rural ditching. The following are a few items approved under the Town’s operating budget:
- $135,000 (0.46%) for Rural Ditching program
- $90,180 (0.31%) for Short-Term Rental Inspector and Administrator wages
- $66,000 (0.23%) for the Living wage initiative
- $150,000 (0.51%) for Climate Change studies and initiatives
- $250,000 (0.86%) for Affordable Housing funding
The 2022 Operating Budget included several one-time requests that will be funded from strategic reserves. For example, $150,000 for a new Official Plan and $103,000 for 2022 summer pool operations at Fort Erie International Academy will be funded by the Town’s tax rate stabilization reserves.
“The 2022 budget includes a number of short and long-term financial planning strategies to maintain current services while addressing growing demands and making important enhancements. It captures strong assessment growth and also leverages grant funding and uses $1.2 million in Town reserves to assist with keeping tax increases lower during a difficult pandemic and higher inflation pressures,” said Jonathan Janzen, Director, Corporate Services.
In addition to the Operating Budget, Town Council approved Fort Erie’s 2022 Capital Budget and 2023 to 2032 Forecast. The Capital Budget consists of 55 projects with a total cost of $23,577,197. The budget includes works related to roads, bridges, sidewalks, water, wastewater, parks and facilities.
Some of the larger Capital projects include:
- $3.0 million for the Waverly Beach Trail reconstruction
- $2.9 million for the Bridgeburg District Streetscape improvements
- $2.2 million for the 2022 Road Resurfacing program
- $3.5 million for the Idylewylde Sanitary Sewer
On January 24, 2022, Town Council approved Fort Erie’s 2022 Water and Wastewater budget for $20,352,134, which supports high standards of service delivery at a cost increase of 3.45 per cent or $4.24 per month for the average household.
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