At Wednesday’s Special Council Meeting, Council approved the 2023 Budget which will result in a 2.9% increase to the Town of Gravenhurst share of the tax rate for 2023. This was the first budget approved by Mayor Lorenz and the 2022-2026 Term of Council.
After publication of the budget materials on January 6, 2023, Council deliberated on the details of both the operating and capital budgets over the course of two days – January 31st and February 1st.
“2023 will be an exciting year for the Town as Council move towards strategic and long-term plans to shape the community’s future,” said Mayor Lorenz. The long-term capital goals within this budget include plans to address outstanding infrastructure deficits, promote financial stability and address the needs of the community within directed fiscal restraints.
The approval reflects the direction to maintain a status quo operating budget. However, it includes projects for the betterment of the community. New initiatives included commitments to previous projects, such as capital investments, adapting to evolving legislation and supporting the community. Budget project highlights include:
- A focus on roads, bridges, and storm-water drainage improvements
- Exterior security cameras for the Opera House, Fire Hall and Town Hall
- Major overhaul to Gull Lake Rotary Park with tiered seating for community events, such as Music on the Barge
- Completion of a Communication Strategy
- Investment in a Climate Change Adaptation Plan
- Strategic Plan to guide direction for the corporation and community
Chief Administrative Officer Scott Lucas stated that staff worked diligently to ensure the budget presented to Council stayed within Council’s guidelines given inflationary pressures.
The impact on the Town property tax bill would see an increase of $14.82 per $100,000 of assessment on the Town-share of the Gravenhurst property tax bill. The median single-family residence will see on their 2023 Property Tax Bill a 3.3% increase for urban properties and 3.1% increase for rural properties.
With an investment of approximately $9.3 million in Town assets and related studies, 72 projects will get underway in 2023, financed largely through capital reserves and internal borrowing.
Full details of the approved 2023 budget can be found at www.gravenhurst.ca/budget.