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West Grey passes 2020 budget

Taxes will increase $45 on a home assessed at $300,000

WEST GREY — The Municipality of West Grey has passed its 2020 budget—a budget that council says meets the mandate of community improvement and taking care of infrastructure while being responsive to the current economic reality.

“This budget process is one of the most important tasks for council to work through every year,” Mayor Christine Robinson said.

“Council reviewed the budget with an awareness that there will be economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 budget is a responsible blend of stimulating the economy where we can while meeting our legislative requirements.”

In response to the economic stresses, West Grey waived interest fees and penalties for property taxes and utility bills for 90 days and found more than $300,000 in savings for the 2020 budget through reduced reserve transfers. As well, council approved the transfer of $100,000 from reserves as an economic development stimulator through a pending Community Improvement Plan program.

At the April 21 council meeting an increase of 3.5 per cent was approved. The average West Grey home assessed at $300,000 will have an annual increase of approximately $45 in 2020.

2020 Budget highlights

  • $130,000 has been budgeted for single surface road treatment throughout West Grey. This investment will be leveraged with $270,000 in grants from the Ontario grant programs.
  • $205,000 will be added to $600,000 from federal grants and reserves for the rehabilitation of the McQuarrie Bridge on Concession 2 in Glenelg.
  • Replacing the Lantz Bridge through a funding partnership with the federal and provincial governments. This project will improve the safety for motorists as it involves the replacement of a single lane bridge with a two-lane bridge.
  • $30,000 for the new sidewalk construction in Ayton to improve the safety of pedestrians and children walking to school.
  • $180,000 for the rehabilitation and repaving the Artemesia-Glenelg Townline in partnership with Grey Highlands.
  • Complete the asphalt surfacing for the Bruce and Lambton Streets project in Durham.
  • $75,000 toward the construction of the new West Grey Police Service building.
  • $400,000 to replace a grader and $560,000 for a new pumper truck for the West Grey Fire Department.
  • $124,000 ($81,000 in 2020 and $43,000 in 2021) to replace a sidewalk tractor (with new snow blower attachment) which will enhance the efficiency of the sidewalk snow plowing program and downtown snow removal program.
  • Ongoing maintenance and repairs to West Grey recreation facilities.
  • Support for youth skills development in partnership with Launch Pad in Hanover.