| Apr 05, 2007


Feature Article - April 5, 2007

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Feature Article - April 5, 2007

Central Frontenac budget 1.2% tax hikeby Jeff Green

Township staff found savings in some road maintenance budget lines to bring the Central Frontenac Township budget down 2.5% in the interim between the last two budget meetings, dropping a projected 4% increase down to 1.5%.

Much to the relief of several Olden area firefighters attending the latest budget meetings, Council did not kick at all when Fire Chief Mark MacDonald presented a fire budget that included a $465,000 expenditure for a new fire hall in Mountain Grove.

MacDonald explained that the current fire hall, which was supposed to be a temporary hall when it was created in the 1970’s, has deteriorated significantly over the years, to the point where the heating system no longer works, and there are significant health and safety concerns with the building as it stands.

“It would cost $50,000 to try and improve the existing hall, but even then it would probably not be brought up to the health code,” MacDonald said.

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Mark MacDonald met with the Olden Fire crew on the night before the budget meeting to finalise the specifications for the new building, and said he is “pleased to say that a consensus was reached on what is needed, and to say that with the help of the firefighters we have found some savings for the taxpayers while still coming with something that will serve the township for the next 50 years.”

Councillor Frances Smith interrupted Mark MacDonald as he continued to advocate for the fire hall by saying, “You’re preaching to the converted, Mark. We’re building a new fire hall in Mountain Grove this year.”

Asked when he expected the building project to be completed, MacDonald said, “We’re hoping to be in the new hall in time for venison.”

Council continues to consider their 2007 budget, which they expect to adopt by the end of the month.

At this point, it seems clear that it will not include a significant tax rate increase, although certain projects have been deferred, such as the building of a new salt dome. The township’s reserve funds will be down from last year, to $1.7 million.

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