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Collingwood council approves 2022 budget with two per cent tax hike

‘This year’s budget is very responsible, but I think it’s also very responsive,’ says Mayor
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Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

On Monday night, Collingwood council gave the final stamp of approval to the 2022 town budget, with a two per cent tax rate increase.

The total budget allocates $115.9 million in total spending between operating ($64.3 million) and capital budgets ($51.6 million). The tax levy accounts for $36.8 million of that, with the remaining funding expected from grants, federal and provincial dollars, investment and rental/user income and transfers from reserves.

“Since being involved in council, this is an annual financial plan that looks at accomplishing the needs of our community,” said Mayor Brian Saunderson. “This year’s budget is very responsible, but I think it’s also very responsive.”

“We are moving the bar forward... and we are doing it with a very responsible two per cent increase this year. We’re providing the services and are doing it in a way that respects the taxpayer's dollars,” he said.

The increase translates to an increase of $47.93 in taxes annually on median assessed home of $327,000.

Of the operating budget of $64.3 million, the biggest increase is going to social housing, with a 150 per cent increase over the amount budgeted for the sector in 2021.

A department breakdown of the 2022 operating budget is as follows:

  • Governance - $613,755
  • Corporate management - $8,597,091
  • Customer and corporate services - $3,234,114
  • Collingwood Fire Services - $5,497,900
  • OPP - $5,406,219
  • Protective inspection and Control - $757,746
  • Conservation authority - $807,340
  • Public works and engineering - $7,540,993
  • Transit - $1,688,963
  • Social Housing - $735,060
  • Parks, Recreation and Culture - $7,149,681
  • Planning and development - $2,819,523
  • Collingwood Public Library - $1,899,386
  • Building - $1,020,990
  • Parking - $451,472
  • Water - $8,070,426
  • Wastewater - $8,003,059

There are 6.88 full-time equivalent positions approved as part of the 2022 final budget, which include a two-year contract renewal for a finance renew analyst position, a communications co-ordinator (contingent on council approving a new communications strategy in 2022) and an affordable housing planning specialist.

SEE MORE: Final 2022 budget will come before Collingwood council on Dec. 20

Of the capital budget of $51.6 million, there are roads and public transit expenditures, which include the widening of Mountain Road ($4.8 million) and the Minnesota Storm Sewer Repair project ($5.1 million).

Parks, Recreation and Culture’s capital projects in 2022 include expenditures for multi-year projects such as the Enviropark replacement ($1.5 million), Harbourview Splash Pad ($1.3 million), and $750,000 for shoreline restoration at Sunset Point Park.

Centennial Aquatic Centre will need facility maintenance and improvements to the tune of $450,000.

New fire bunker gear for Collingwood firefighters will come at a cost of $120,000. Edraulic units (battery operated extrication tools) will cost $40,000.

Renovations on the Collingwood OPP building on Minnesota Street will cost $265,000.

A significant amount of the capital budget will be going to the water treatment plant, with $660,000 going toward refurbishment, $11.6 million toward the expansion and $500,000 going toward membrane filter replacements.

SEE MORE: Here are some of the major projects proposed for Collingwood in 2022

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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