Development, donations, and 1.1% tax hike in 2021 budget

Treasurer Janet Koziel
Treasurer Janet Koziel. Photo credit: Emilie Must.
Posted on: January 19, 2021

Smiths Falls Treasurer Janet Koziel presented the third draft of the 2021 budget to town council on Monday night. There was much discussion from the Committee of the Whole on the various budget items. 

Councillor Dwyer congratulated Treasurer Koziel on this draft, noting the reasonable 1.1% consumer price index (CPI) tax increase. Dwyer inquired about the inclusion of funding for designing Phase 2 of the Beckwith Street revitalization. Troy Dunlop, Director of Public Works and Utilities, explained that while the design for the surface of Phase 2 is already prepared, the “designs that are advancing right now are detailed water and sewer design … below the surface.” Director Dunlop added that by late March of this year they expect to hear from the Department of Transportation about grant funding for moving forward with Phase 2.

Councillor McGuire noted that George Street was on the budget, and asked for more information on what to expect there in 2021. Dunlop explained that George Street underground infrastructure is overdue for replacement, being “beyond its service life.”  In a spring storm the space from Strathcona to Gladstone Streets can drain 516 litres of water per second, so reconstruction is “a project that has a lot of dividends … and would fit well within the province’s goals for grant funding.”

Councillor Brennan spoke up, saying that he was pleased to see capital needs addressed and a $174 000 donation made to the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital. “I’m happy to support this budget; it doesn’t burden our taxpayers. Congratulations and thank you very much.”

Councillor Allen thanked Koziel and staff for doing “a wonderful job in a difficult year; thank you very much for bringing this to us.”

A virtual public meeting ahead of the third draft of the 2021 budget was held Tuesday, January 12, via Zoom.

Article by Janelle Labelle

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News