| May 12, 2005

Feature article,May 12, 2005

Feature article May 12, 2005

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2005 Central Frontenac budget approved

by Jeff Green

As anticipated, the tax rate for the 2005 year has been set for Central Frontenac at a 2% overall decrease. In order to accomplish this, the taxes collected for use by the township itself decreased by just over 6% in order to compensate for a sharp increase (8.9%) in the County tax rate, which accounts for 20% of the overall property tax levy.

The tax rate for residential properties in Central Frontenac has been set at $1,513 for every $100,000 of property assessment. This compares to $1,543 in 2004.

This was accomplished in spite of a decrease in property assessment within the township and an increase in expenditures of about $500,000 over 2004.


People have been wondering how we came in with a decrease under these circumstances, says township Treasurer Judy Gray, and we were able to because there were some projects, such as spending to comply with water regulations, and others, that were budgeted for in 2004 and didnt end up happening, so the money was carried forward.

As well, the township has recently received a one-time payment from the Province of Ontario as part of the new Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund of $357,000 to offset funding deficiencies in 2003 and 2004. Of that $357,000, about $100,000 is being put into the 2005 operating budget to cover for an increase in policing costs that have been imposed on the township, and the rest, in excess of $250,000, is being allocated to township reserves.

There was a also a surplus of about $150,000 in 2004 that resulted from the actual expenditures of the township being lower than their spending estimates for the year.

In general, it is not a good idea to bring in tax rate decreases; it just sets up trouble in future years, said Treasurer Judy Gray, but Council wanted to lower them this year because they have been going up in recent years. Still, it was wise to put the extra one time money into reserves rather than increase taxes further, she said.

The budget was approved by Council on Monday night, but the vote was not unanimous. Councillor Logan Murray was concerned about two things: the 2005 budget includes a line item that corresponds to the application the township made to the Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Investment Fund (COMRIF). The townships application was rejected, but the line item remains because there is a 2nd intake for COMRIF coming up. Murray wanted to know if voting for the budget implied agreeing to re-submit the same application (for repairs to Road 38) to the 2nd intake.

Mayor Bill MacDonald said, We dont know what the terms are going to be for round 2, so we cant decide now.

Murrays second question concerned which roads will be repaved in 2005. In particular he mentioned the road departments plan to resurface the Price Road between Arden and Mountain Grove.

I dont think we have discussed adequately which roads we are going to do, he said, I wonder why we have a roads committee if the decisions about road work are already made.

We have had that discussion, said Mayor Bill MacDonald, and Councillor Jack Nicolson said, We have spent more time talking about roads than anything else during this Council.

The budget was approved in a vote of five in favour, and one opposed. Councillors Frances Smith and Bill Snider were absent from the meeting, as was Deputy Mayor Faye Putnam.

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