Smiths Falls council welcomed Interim Treasurer Stephen Dickey, who hit the ground running during Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting. In his new role with the town, Interim Treasurer Dickey presented this year’s first draft of the capital budget which council discussed.
Proposed items from the budget which council supported included a $174,341.00 donation to the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, and a municipal tax rate increase of 3.38%.
There was some discussion around the Water and Wastewater rates, which were proposed to increase at 5.5% and 3.5% respectively.
“I’d be much more comfortable setting it at the price of inflation,” commented Councilor Chris McGuire, noting that the cost of operations has increased significantly in the past year. “I would be more comfortable with 7%.”
Mayor Shawn Pankow said he agreed with Councilor McGuire, but for this year he supported the proposed modest increase. Councilor Stephen Robinson concurred with Mayor Pankow, saying, “for this year, let’s go with the modest increase and see where that lands us.”
Look for more budget discussions over the next few months. The final draft of the capital budget is due in March.