Perth Town Council establishes framework for 2021 budget
On Tuesday evening Perth’s town council members engaged in a lively discussion about laying the framework for a potential tax increase. Within the current budget-making bylaws, the overriding principle limits council from raising taxes above the cost-of-living index. Mayor Fenik pointed out that the overriding principle “handcuffs council even when circumstances call for a tax increase.” Due to Covid-19 in 2020, Perth expects less federal grant money to be available in 2021. Council members raised the question of whether the bylaw should be revoked or suspended, as an increase in taxes is necessary to achieve planned initiatives. Councillor Brown suggested it would make more sense to “either completely support the overriding principle, or abolish it.” In the end, Council moved to support the overriding principle, and also consider supporting alternative scenarios that may not be in accordance with the overriding principle.
Tiny homes – or small homes – not necessarily filling low-income niche
A new tiny home being built in Perth – or, at 700 square feet, a “small home” – isn’t necessarily filling the low-income niche that council members had envisioned. Councillor Cameron noted that it will be renting for $1500/month, which is inaccessible for citizens in the low-income bracket: “this flies in the face of what we thought we were doing.” Councillor Brown noted that as a community with an aging population, Perth could truly benefit from a large influx of tiny homes as a downsizing option for seniors. Councillor Bird suggested the matter be brought to the Committee of the Whole. Council will continue to revisit the topic as an ongoing concern.
Perth welcomes Sri-Lankan restaurant
Council welcomed Kothu Labs, a Sri-Lankan restaurant, which opened last week as Ontario enters the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is really exciting to see a restaurant opening in this uncertain time, and we wish them all the best,” noted Mayor Fenik, who cut the ribbon at Kothu Labs’ grand opening. Kothu Labs can be found at 40 Foster St, and their Facebook page is full of rave reviews.