South Dundas budget deliberations end at 6.67 per cent increase

MORRISBURG – South Dundas council wrapped up 2024 budget deliberations January 16 and landed on a 6.67 per cent residential property tax increase to the South Dundas levy collected.

When combined with the proposed 4.36 per cent increase to the counties portion of their tax bill the owner of an average property in South Dundas which is valued at $211,148 can expect to see their tax bill to be $135.26 more than last year which is equivalent to about $64 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The $18 million budget will cover the municipality’s operational needs and $4.56 million worth of capital work in 2024.

The public works department which is the municipality’s most costly department had eight rural roads approved for resurfacing in 2024 including: Shaver, Robertson, Chess, Richmire, Dr. Stevens, Pages Corners, Coughler and Nation.

No village roads made that list for the second consecutive year. Director of Transportation Jeff Hyndman explained to the council that village roads have significant underground infrastructure to consider making them costly to fully repair. South Dundas deputy mayor Marc St. Pierre then suggested that some village road work should be part of next year’s budget.

The purchase of a new backhoe and a new plow truck was approved as part of the 2024 budget. Hyndman had proposed the replacement of the municipality’s wok van, but upon councillor Cole Veinotte’s suggestion Hyndman priced repairing the van’s problematic transmission. At $6,500 council opted to pursue that option to prolong the life of that vehicle and delay the van’s replacement.

South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services capital budget for 2024 includes a $730,000 pumper tanker replacement.

The Parks, Recreation and Facilities department will complete the Haldane Park refurbishment in 2024, for which Trillium Funding was received.

Another key project for that department will be an Iroquois Plaza green-space expansion. While department director David Jansen had proposed a budget of $100,000 for the project, council cut that budget by $30,000.

The only capital project for 2024 in the economic development budget is the replacement of the Giant Tiger murals.

During the second budget meeting council whittled grants and donations requests from 19 different organizations down from $66,700 to $31,700.

That amount includes monetary donations of $1,500 to Seaway District High School bursaries, $1,000 to the Historical Society of South Dundas, $3,000 to Canada Day, $2,000 to the Iroquois Firefighters Association, $1,000 to the Iroquois-Matilda Lions Community Garden, $15,000 to J.W. MacIntosh Community Support Services for transportation, $2,000 to Harvestfest, $2,000 to Applefest, $2,000 to the Morrisburg Santa Parade, $500 to Iroquois Lawn Bowling and $500 to Tubies.

A multi-year contribution to Dundas Manor $50,000 and $3,000 to Dundas County Hospice are also included in the 2024 budget.

The finalized budget also included a three per cent CPI wage increase for employees and council.

This is the second budget of this term of council. This year’s tax increase is larger than last year’s which ended up a 5.5 per cent.

The 2024 budget will be formally approved to South Dundas council at their February 14 meeting.

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