Councillors with the City of Dryden are taking a look at their Draft 2022 Operating Budget, which includes a 4.15 per cent property tax increase and a 10 per cent sewer and water rate increase.

City Treasurer Steven Lansdell-Roll will present the Draft 2022 Operating Budget Summary and a Draft Capital Plan to councillors tonight during their virtual Council Meeting at 7 p.m.

As well as the proposed increases, 2022’s Draft Operating Budget also includes about $3.9 million in transitional costs related to the amalgamation of the Dryden Police Service and Dryden OPP.

The funds are broken down as:

- $1,100,000 in increased operating costs in 2021-2022
- $1,700,000 in disbandment costs, funded by the Legacy Reserve
- $711,000 in one-time OPP start-up costs, funded by the General Capital Reserve
- $400,000 in one-time OPP facility upgrades, funded by the Emergency Capital Reserve

The City of Dryden is also seeing a few issues that other Ontario municipalities are as well, including a $107,000 reduction in funding from the Ontario Municipal Partnership funding, an increase in labour and salary costs due to record-high inflation levels and a 15 per cent increase in insurance premiums.

While the budget does include annual increases for community members, the City’s report shows that no service level reductions are expected in 2022, debt repayments have dropped to just over $1 million and about $900,000 of capital work will be funded out of taxation.

As well, the City expects to allocate about $611,000 into their Reserve Funds. That includes $198,000 into their Waterfront Development Fund, $9,000 into the Dryden Fire Services’ Equipment Reserve Fund, $60,000 into General Capital Reserves, $20,000 into the Land Sale Reserve Fund, $139,000 into the Wastewater Reserves and $185,000 into the Waterworks Reserve.

Lansdell-Roll’s report also states the City may be able to alleviate the $600,000 Property Tax deficit by either removing those reserve fund allocations, by funding capital projects using 2022 reserve fund, by borrowing additional funds out of debt, or by lowering levels of service for the community.