Focused on the future, Georgina Council has endorsed the 2019 Budget that includes a 2.6 per cent increase for the 2019 tax levy budget with an additional one per cent increase for contributions to capital reserves for a total of 3.6 per cent. Council will ratify the budget on Feb. 13.
“The budget process is always challenging, as we weigh the best interests of the Town today and plan for tomorrow,” said Mayor Margaret Quirk. “Our infrastructure is aging and we recognize the need for repairs and improvements, while also acknowledging the growth happening across Georgina and the importance of long-range planning. It is never easy to increase taxes, but we are not here to make the easy or popular decisions, we are here to make the hard decisions. This budget provides for services today, puts processes in place for improving services, moves forward two major capital projects in a responsible manner and adds to our reserves to plan for the future.”
Council approved two major capital projects in the 2019 Budget, the Multi-use Recreation Complex (MURC) and the new Civic Centre. Anticipated construction completion for both the MURC and Civic Centre is 2021/2022.
Other highlights from the Capital Budget include:
- Fire rescue boat that will be purchased in partnership with the Chippewas of Georgina Island
- Parking lot improvements to the Sutton arena, the Link, Udora Community Hall and Belhaven Community Hall
- Road construction projects improving sections of the Queensway, Simcoe Street, Stoney Batter Road, Church Street and Shorecrest/Shoreline Road
- Design phase of three bridges to be rehabilitated including Baldwin Road east of Cryderman Sideroad, Old Shiloh Road east of Park Road and Old Shiloh Road east end
- Soofa benches placed around the community to aid in data gathering
- Corporate Sponsorship Strategy that will be 100 per cent recoverable providing revenue opportunities associated with assets
- Waterfront Park Strategy
- Money dedicated for Pefferlaw recreational opportunities
- Defibrillator replacement
- Hedge Road Shoreline Stabilization
Highlights of the 2019 Operating Budget include:
- New multilingual collection and Freegal music downloading at the Georgina Public Library
- Urban forestry program
- School zone painting
- Cyber insurance coverage
Council also endorsed the 2019 water and wastewater budget, which will see an increase of 7.2 per cent or $23.17 for the average quarterly billing.
“The Town of Georgina budget process has continued to evolve and this year included a line-by-line operating review and trend analysis that resulted in deductions exceeding $300,000” said Rob Wheater, Director of Corporate Services/Treasurer. “Town staff worked hard to produce a comprehensive budget that meets the community’s needs now and for the future.”
The Town promoted a number of opportunities to encourage public engagement and receive resident input into the 2019 Budget including an online and hard-copy survey, a dedicated email and five public budget consultation sessions.
Visit georgina.ca/budget to learn more.