Residential property owners will see an increase of 3.97 percent, after Orangeville Council approved the 2018 budget at its November 6 meeting.
The budget includes a 4.97 percent increase on the Town’s tax levy – of which one percent will be funded by growth. The expected increase to the median homeowner in Orangeville will be $116.70 on the Town’s portion of the 2018 property tax bill.
The $62 million budget (including capital, operating expenditures, and net reserve transfers) is funded from the tax levy, reserve funds, development charges, user rates, gas tax funds, and government grants, such as the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. The largest costs, by department, are attributed to police services, public works and transportation, fire services, and parks and recreation.
The approved 2018 budget is comprised of $49 million in operating expenses, $8.1 million in capital expenses (with a tax levy impact of $2.6 million for capital projects) and a transfer to reserves of $5 million. The focus of the capital budget is on longer term planning, addressing the infrastructure backlog, improving the transit system, maintaining and updating facilities, equipment and vehicles, continuing the investment in parks and recreational activities, continuing the investment in technology, managing debt and reserves, and considering future growth.
Budget talks resulted in a decision to increase capital investment by $320,000 and to increase the general capital reserve fund by $320,000 for future capital needs.
Some of the major projects or service level changes approved in the 2018 budget are:
- Hiring eight additional firefighters as recommended in 2015 Fire Master Plan ($800,000)
- Broadway resurfacing - from Diane Drive to C Line ($311,000)
- Second Avenue reconstruction – First Street to Third Street ($2.1 million)
- Fire Hall design ($45,000)
- Low-floor transit bus ($425,000)
The five-year budgeting plan anticipates an increase of $29 million in reserves -- and no new debt in 2018. The long-term debt plan anticipates financing a new fire hall at a cost of $8 million in 2020. The five-year plan also considers the road, water and wastewater infrastructure backlogs and fleet replacement.