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Scugog's 2023 operating budget presented to councillors

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: Scugog councillors got their first look at the 2023 municipal draft operating budget at a meeting on Monday, March 6th.

The budget comes in slightly below council's target tax rate of 2.5 percent. The estimated increase in the budget is 2.43 percent.

"This represents an increase of approximately $10.29 per month on the average residential property for Scugog," a report from treasurer Laura Barta read.

When combined with the Region of Durham and Durham District school board, this will mean a 5 percent increase on the combined tax bill. This would equate to a $21.31 per month charge.

In a presentation to councillors, the treasurer explained how the budget is like a garden. "Our community is like a garden. It contains the basic elements necessary to grow, including the soil, the seeds, and the desire to care, nurture and maintain it for the long term."

Sarah Durward, Scugog's Manager of Finance, talked about how outside sources have impacted the budget. "The Township is dealing with some significant pressures [which] are outside of our control. These pressures have negatively impacted the budget and increased the amount needed to maintain operations."

Some of the expected increased costs include $153,200 for fuel costs, $127,200 in excess soil costs due to new testing legislation and $277,500 in contractual salary or wage rate increases.

Mentioning winter road maintenance and library services as examples of services Scugog provides residents, Ms. Barta stressed this year's increase is worth it to get the best "bang for your buck."

"We are focused on continuing to modernize our operations, continuing to plan for the long term, providing community safety measures when possible and keeping residents informed and involved," the treasurer added.

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