By Katherine Grant
Over the next decade, West Lincoln will need to spend $42 million on road repairs according to a roads needs assessment.
To that end, the township passed a budget Monday night that will increase its tax levy by 6.9 per cent to support a net budget of $7.4 million.
On average, a homeowner with a 2015 property assessment of $303,103 will see the West Lincoln portion of their 2015 tax bill increase by about $67 ($5.58 per month).
Budget highlights include a $1.1 million investment in roads and bridges that will see improvements made to Young Street, Port Davidson Road and Caistor Centre Road.
“Roads in all three wards will be improved,” said Mayor Doug Joyner.
The township held a budget open house for the first time, said Joyner. “It was well attended, people had a chance to ask questions and talk about the needs of the community.”
In addition, this year’s process included the development of 10-year capital plans for the first time. These plans outline both present and future infrastructure, capital replacements and Public Works requirements.
Joyner said 4.6 per cent of the levy increase will be dedicated to the capital reserve for future infrastructure and capital replacement.
“Approving the annual budget is an important and demanding responsibility which is faced by West Lincoln Council each year and this year was particularly difficult. However, with the implementation of strategic and long term financial initiatives, we will be able to assess the future requirements and needs of the municipality. Difficult decisions had to be made in order to maintain current service levels and ensure effective and efficient
municipal operations,” he added.
The township held a public open house for the first time, said Joyner. “It was well attended, people had a chance to ask questions and talk about the needs of the community.”
The development of the walking trail system will continue, with funds allocated for the North Creek Trail Project and $804,000 will be invested to replace aging fire services apparatus and equipment for servicing local roads.