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Scugog council sees 2.47 percent increase in operating budget

DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: Scugog councillors got their first look at the 2024 draft municipal operating budget, at a meeting on Monday, March 4th.

The budget, presented by treasurer Laura Barta, includes a 2.47 percent municipal tax increase which is below Scugog’s target of 2.5 percent.

“This represents an increase of approximately $11.23 per month, on the average residential property for Scugog. It supports the Township’s capital program, in addition to maintaining services, in a period of continued inflationary increases, and demand for additional services,” Ms. Barta’s report explained.

Inflation is expected to continue to cause increases in material and supply costs, as well as for contracted services. Labour costs are also expected to increase.

Public Works and Infrastructure Services has the highest expenditures of the budget, coming in at $9,930,510. The next highest is Community Services at $2,531,300. Fire and Emergency Services sits at $2,116,500. The net operating budget totals $19,292,010.

Ms. Barta mentioned the cost of steel and dust suppressant as factors in the increase to the Public Works side of the budget.

“We need to be fiscally responsible, while providing value for money spent. We also need to be looking to ensure we can continue to provide these services into the future. This budget balances these objectives with the inflationary and external pressures the Township is facing,” Ms. Barta said.

CAO Ken Nix stressed, the budget “does not include any new staff, despite ongoing pressures.”

“External reviews continue to show, as a lower tier municipality, we’re at the very low end of costs per household,” Mr. Nix added.

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