| Jul 15, 2005

Feature article, July 14, 2005

Feature article July 14, 2005

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North Frontenac holds the line in 2005 budget

by Jeff Green

All the ts are crossed and all the is are dotted, and it all means that taxpayers in North Frontenac will see a tax rate increase of just under 2.5% this year. As reported previously, the portion of the tax rate controlled by the township itself will be increased by less than 1% - 0.88% to be exact, which is lower than the rate of inflation.

The bottom line is that someone who owns property assessed at $100,000 will pay $1,406.53 in 2005, a $33.95 increase over the $1372.58 they paid in 2004.

Of that, North Frontenac township will keep $779.81, an increase of $6.81 over the $773.00 they kept last year.

County taxes, which have gone up 8.9% to $330.72 (per 100,000 of assessment) account for the bulk of the tax increase. The education rate, $296 (per 100,000 of assessment) has remained the same in 2005.


As County Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson said in the budget summary she presented to Council and the public last Wednesday, With costs increasing each year (for example Fuel, Utilities, Insurance, etc.) and with 2005 not being a reassessment year, it was very difficult for Council to keep the same level of service, without having an increase in the municipal tax rate.

The budget includes funding for several road construction projects which the township expects to complete in 2005, including: Robertsville Road, Buckshot Lake Road, Boundary Road, Shabomeka Lake Road, River Road, Whites Road, and Sand Lake Road. Most of these projects include the removal of rocks, and ditching, but paving is included on Buckshot Lake and Sand Lake Roads, and there will be rehabilitation done on Shabomeka.

The budget also includes capital expenditures, most notably the purchase of a new tandem truck with a sander and plow unit, the first new tandem truck purchased by North Frontenac since 1998, and which will cost close to $200,000.

As far as the ongoing issue of the Clarendon and Miler Fire hall, the budget does not tip Councils hand as to whether they will locate the new Fire hall in Plevna or at the township administrative centre a few kilometres away. In the 2005 budget, $115,000 has been allocated to the project, and a multi-use building and water study of the existing municipal site, which includes the administration offices, roads and building departments as well as the current Fire hall, is being funded as well.

The budget also includes funding for a new photocopier, a Global Positioning System device and Global Information System software, and the completion of renovations at the Snow Road Fire hall.

As an interim measure, $5,000 has been allocated to each of the five community halls. The task force on community halls will report back to council later this year.

Looking forward, the township is facing a problem in funding the maintenance for downloaded provincial Road 506/509 in future years. When the roads were downloaded they came with a pool of money for maintenance, but that pool has been depleted over time, and North Frontenac is looking at an increased road cost of $300,000 per year to maintain 506/509.

In the short term, $200,000 has been taken from the new provincial government funding transfer program to build up the reserve fund for 506/509 so that it will cover costs for next year.

Road 506/509 is the major arterial road within the township, and since it was downloaded the township has used the 506/509 reserve re-pave about 10 kms each year to keep the road from deteriorating.

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