City council sets $154.9M budget with 2.9 per cent increase

Sarnia councillors hearken to a presentation by Finance Director Suzanna Dieleman. September 2019. Photograph by Melanie Irwin

Sarnia Metropolis Council set a $154.9-million price range that raises taxes about 2.9 per cent in 2020 throughout a three-hour assembly on Tuesday morning.

The overall levy enhance provides $25 per $100,000 of residential evaluation to the municipal portion of the property tax invoice.

Many of the enhance, about two per cent, is attributed to council’s approval of a devoted asset administration plan for infrastructure upkeep.

Mayor Mike Bradley mentioned unprecedented spending of about $45 million is included within the capital price range.

“That’s going into shoreline, roads, streets and plenty of different enhancements all through the group and that’s actually necessary,” mentioned Bradley. “That’s the primary message we obtain from the general public, is they need their group to proceed to shine, they need it reinvested in and that’s what that spending will do.”

Over $2 million is included for the alternative of metal groynes, retaining partitions and seashore entry factors alongside the Lake Huron shoreline. And whereas the price range is targeted on finishing a bit of shore from Helen to Kenwick Streets in Vibrant’s Grove, Mayor Bradley mentioned excessive water erosion can also be impacting areas alongside the St. Clair River, like Ferry Dock Hill. Town has budgeted $300,000 for demolition of the regulation agency constructing there.

“We’ve been coping with this concern for about six months, cooperating with the regulation agency. The constructing, due to excessive water ranges, is not usable they usually’ve made plans to maneuver to a different location.”

A $500,000 annual levy on petrochemical firms was additionally accepted to assist fund belongings that assist the town’s heavy trade.

“If it’s geared particularly to issues trade creates as a necessity locally, like hearth gear, drones, or different gear, similar to St. Clair [Township] has carried out, that to me is truthful,” Bradley mentioned. “It shouldn’t apply to companies which can be in that space, whether or not it’s the Tim Horton’s or the automotive rental place.”

Council deleted a $74,000 advice to rent a Centennial Park panorama architect.

“I don’t have the abdomen, your worship, to spend another penny on Centennial Park,” Councillor Dave Boushy mentioned to Bradley. “I’ve each confidence in our administration to handle what’s left, the injury that was carried out earlier than from final time period.”

Almost $400,000 shall be spent on enhancements at metropolis corridor, together with roof alternative, set up of a second boiler to warmth the constructing and the whole modernization of the elevator.

Over $200,000 is budgeted to exchange a cooling tower and two air handler models at Sarnia’s downtown library.

Council accepted a police companies price range that requires a 5.5 per cent enhance in spending that features the phase-in of 4 new officers.

Simply over $72,000 for the doctor recruitment job pressure was maintained for 2020.

Council accepted a $28,600 pilot venture at no cost menstrual merchandise in public-facing buildings and $90,000 shall be spent to manage gypsy moths.

Simply over $100,000 was directed to the election reserve to completely fund a possible hybrid digital/paper voting system, which has a considerably increased value than digital solely. $65,000 was put aside in 2019 and it’s advisable one other $100,000 be put aside in 2021.

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