Collingwood Council approved the 2017 budget last night, keeping its 2017 tax rate increase at 0%. Council said they also paid down $400,557 in internal debt and are continuing to contribute to the Town’s infrastructure budget.
The 2017 budget is comprised of about $55 million in operating expenses, which accounts for the costs required to provide certain services such as transit, recreation, roads, and administrative functions.
The total capital expenditures approved are about $26 million. Capital expenditures relate to projects and expenses where the benefits can be seen over many years, including facilities, vehicles and parks. Included in the 2017 Budget is a Capital Levy of $1.402 million to be set aside to fund the Capital Asset Management Plan, which catalogues the municipality’s capital assets and estimates the amount of money that should be set aside to fund their repair and ultimate replacement.
In a news release from the Town of Collingwood, Mayor Sandra Cooper says, “I’m so pleased with the work of staff to come up with a budget that will see service levels maintained […] Council is very cognizant of rising costs of living for all tax payers and is committed to ensuring we do our part to keep property taxes down.”
The topic of discussion that drew the big crowd was the hospital redevelopment. Since they haven’t heard back from the ministry regarding their Stage 1A submission, discussion continues in regards to zoning for the redeveloped hospital. The town has said they will make a significant contribution to the hospital, but have not yet said if they will assist in buying the land for expanding the hospital.