During Monday evening’s Committee of the Whole meeting in Smiths Falls, CAO Malcolm Morris presented the year’s third draft budget to council. The budget was prepared by interim Treasurer Michael Dickey.
Significant items of note in the budget are a proposed property tax increase of 3.38%, a water rate increase of 5.5%, and a wastewater rate increase of 3.5%. These proposed changes will result in a yearly increase of approximately $60 for the average residential utility customer, and $94 for the average residential property.
“Everyone is facing increases, including our municipality,” explained Councilor Jay Brennan, “we don’t do this lightly. I think we’ve done a pretty good job here, and I look forward to hearing comments from my neighbours and the taxpayers of Smiths Falls.”
Mayor Shawn Pankow reminded the public that there is a significant time gap between Monday’s reading of the budget and its being passed, in order for public feedback to be received and considered. “We welcome this,” he added.
The third reading of the budget will take place on February 21.