Dryden’s final 2023 budget will include a 2.65 per cent property tax levy for the community, over $1 million going towards debt servicing and nearly $1 million going to the city’s reserves – after Council passed its 2023 Operating and Capital documents today at City Hall.
Treasurer Steven Lansdell-Roll presented his final 2023 budget report late in the Special Open meeting of Council today, which began at 9 a.m. at City Hall.
He explains after Council shared some concerns surrounding a proposed $70,000 development on an empty King Street lot in January, the item has been removed from the budget and the $70,000 in federal Gas Tax funds will be used on a future project for the community.
Councillor Bryan Tardiff says while the project would help fill an empty space downtown and help to beautify the city, the lot is owned privately and could bring liability issues forward.
Lansdell-Roll also says the city was not successful in a transportation funding grant so a project on Sandy Beach Road has had to be delayed. In its place, the city now plans to complete a storm sewer lining project using $400,000 of funds.
Council also previously voted to accept $3.2 million of funding from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization which was deemed too valuable to pass up. Council stressed their acceptance of the funds doesn’t indicate support for their nuclear waste project in Ignace and approved the motion 5-1.
This was the budget’s third set of revisions after the process began in November 2022.
Previously, the city’s Finance Committee agreed to remove two crossing guard positions by September as two automated systems are being installed and $50,000 in federal Gas Tax funds will be used for the Connecting Links Highway 17 project.
Elsewhere, the budget also includes a $250,000 increase in labour costs, a 15 per cent increase in municipal insurance rates and about $1 million of Capital work funded by taxes.
Overall, Dryden’s 2.65 per cent property tax increase is expected to cover a $390,000 shortfall and $950,000 will be transferred to city reserves. That includes an estimated $238,000 from MAT taxes to Dryden’s Waterfront Development Reserve and over $500,000 to the Waterworks Reserve Fund.
Dryden experienced a 4.15 per cent increase through the 2022 budget process, as well as a 10 per cent water and sewer rate hike.
Dryden’s 2023 budget also includes $1.05 million in debt servicing costs with over $15 million of expected capital work, after the city lobbied over $11 million of funding from provincial and federal programs.