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Published on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Council approves 2018 budget

Oakville residents will see 1.75 per cent tax increase in 2018

Council approves 2018 budget
Oakville Beaver file photo
Oakville Town Hall
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Oakville residents will receive a 1.75 per cent hike to their property taxes next year.

Town council voted unanimously to pass its 2018 budget Monday, Dec. 18.

Councillors actually voted to pass a 2.58 per cent total increase to the Town of Oakville budget.

However, the 2.58 per cent increase was reduced to a 1.75 per cent overall hike once the town’s increase was combined with the 1.9 per cent increase in Halton Region taxes and a zero per cent hike in education rates.

The increase means the owner of an Oakville home assessed at $100,000 will pay an extra $13.98 per year and the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 will pay an additional $111.84 per year or $2.15 per week.

“The recommended budget reflects council’s commitment to keep overall property tax increases in line with inflation,” said Ward 6 Councillor and 2018 budget chair Tom Adams.
“Council is doing this at the same time it is investing in building and renewing community infrastructure. We also continue to deliver high quality programs and services, while making strategic improvements desired by the community.”

The 2018 budget featured a $323.6 million operating budget covering a wide range of programs and services including the maintenance of roads and community facilities, fire services, transit, parks and trails, recreation and culture, senior services, libraries and more.

Program enhancements recommended for 2018 include funding for the opening of the new Trafalgar Park Community Centre (Oakville Arena redevelopment) in fall 2018, expansion of enforcement hours for bylaw services, and an additional $25,000 increase for the Oakville Arts Council Grant program.

The $129.1 million capital budget funds transportation, traffic safety measures, infrastructure renewal and other elements related to growth.

Council approved $204,000 in new funding to install flashing 40 km/h signage in school zones, $200,000 for pedestrian safety initiatives and education and $205,000 for the gypsy moth aerial spraying program.

Additional capital projects for 2018 include:

•$21.1 million for the completion of the Trafalgar Park revitalization project

•$10.8 million to start construction on the Southeast Community Centre

•$9.6 million for the road resurfacing and preservation program

•$7.1 million for the reconstruction of Sixth Line between Threshing Mill and Dundas Street

•$3.9 million for the Bronte outer harbour dockage

•$3.7 million for the emerald ash borer program

•$2.7 million for replacement buses

•$2.7 million for a new fire station

•$2.6 million for a new library branch

Town staff noted that throughout the budget process, which began Nov. 21, the budget committee welcomed feedback from residents, local businesses and community partners.

Staff said public consultation impacted the committee’s recommendation to approve $77,000 for a bocce ball court at Glenashton Park, $40,000 in one-time funding for the Backyard Tree Planting Program in partnership with Oakville green and additional traffic safety measures.

“I would like to compliment everyone and the taxpayers for what has been 10 years of very good progress in terms of controlling taxes, debt and infrastructure,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“You have a lot to be proud of here and I hope that the residents share my feelings.”

Not all budget requests were approved.

Council declined a request by Bronte Business Improvement Area (BIA) Executive Director Ann Sargent for $80,000 to hold its annual Canada Day event.

“The Bronte BIA maintains that the size and scope of Oakville’s Canada Day project with its increasing and variable costs has grown beyond our resources and financial capabilities,” said Sargent.

“Upon review of declining commercial assessments within the Bronte BIA budget and levy, coupled with insufficient financial support from outside funding partners the Bronte BIA cannot present Oakville’s Canada Day. We thank the town for its past support and regret that we’ve had to come to this decision under the current fiscal environment.”

Council did vote to have Town staff work with the BIA to find an approach to Canada Day that is appropriate for 2018.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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