The following are key points for consideration with respect to this report:
- The 2022 net operating budget is $58,959,300 which is an increase of $2,619,800 or a 3.9% base budget increase plus a special levy for insurance purposes of 0.75%, totaling 4.65% (Town portion) after assessment growth over the 2021 budget.
- The base levy increase is consistent with the Long-Range Financial Plan (LRFP) target of 3.9% and covers inflationary increases required to maintain existing service levels and operational needs related to increased demand. The rising insurance costs which fall outside of current national inflationary trends and the Town’s financial plan require the addition of a 0.75% dedicated special levy to mitigate this exposure.
- The combined tax rate increase is 2.83% after factoring the Regional and Board of Education rate increases, representing estimates of 2.0% and 0.0% respectively.
- The 2022 capital budget is $27,388,100 which is an increase of $5,278,400 from the 2021 budget. The 2021 budget was focused on the completion of prior year projects which were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 capital program reflects a return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of dollars and volume.
- The budget will continue to support a fiscally sound approach to building reserves and managing debt, in accordance with the Town’s policies and the Long-range Financial Plan.
- The budget includes strategic operating and capital investments in Council’s priority areas with respect to:
- Shaping growth
- Climate change and the environment
- Fiscal and corporate management
- Local autonomy and advocacy
- Ensure a vibrant agricultural community
- Youth and seniors’ initiatives
- Staff will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation carefully and work to mitigate any financial impact to the Town.
- This report impacts and/or helps address climate change and the Town’s resiliency through climate adaptation.
- The Town continues to take actions to address climate change issues to meet the climate emergency declaration requirements and build a low carbon and resilient future.
- As part of its “Plan while Doing” approach, staff is keeping track of the additional costs required and continue to identify future needs for climate actions, which are included in the capital budgeting process.
- The 2022 – 2031 ten-year capital program includes a total $20.1M of expenditures to implement the Town’s Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation strategies through various programs, including facilities replacement/rehabilitation and transit services.
- A detailed review identified approximately $2.3M associated with climate change either as a direct project or as an enhancement.
- As the Town’s Climate Change Action Plan evolves and additional information becomes available in other service areas for other infrastructure and assets, future demands for further investments will be identified. For example, the Stormwater Management Study and the Departmental Asset Management Plans will identify additional funding requirements once they are completed.
- These additional funding requirements will be reviewed as part of the annual budget processes and will be incorporated into the Town’s Long Range Financial Plan as appropriate.