Weather

Current Conditions
-2.1 C
Clear
Today's Forecast
-1 C
Clear
Sponsored by Highland Ford

News And Views

Classifieds

Announcements

Entertainment

Shop Local

More Local

Search The Web

Google Search

Local News

City to finalize 2014 budget

Sunday, April 13, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

City Council will have a larger than expected surplus to work with as they discuss and debate the city’s 2014 budget Monday.

Based on city staff reports prepared for council, it is recommended there be a reduction of 4.97 percent in the tax rate and an increase of 1.35 percent in taxes paid.

For the average residential property taxpayer (the average residential property now being valued at $156,000, up from $146,260 from 2013), that will mean an increase of $35.47 in taxes paid.

Industrial assessments have gone down, while commercial assessments have gone up.

The surplus from the 2013 budget is $3,620,054.

It is recommended that council use $1.4 million from the surplus to reduce the levy, and the balance be spent on infrastructure and paying off debt.

Those infrastructure projects are the resurfacing of Great Northern Road from Second Line to Terrance Avenue at a cost of approximately $925,000, an improved city ditching program at a cost of approximately $300,000 (after the floods of fall 2013), and construction of canopies over exits at the Northern Community Centre (to protect the public from falling snow and ice) at a cost of approximately $200,000.

The rest of the surplus would be used to pay off the city’s share of funding for the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site’s new Visitor Centre (approximately $750,000).

Other factors affecting this year’s budget are a smaller amount of support requested from the city by the physician recruitment and retention committee and a decrease in the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) levy.

In his report to Council, city Chief Administrative Officer Joe Fratesi writes property taxes paid in this community by the average homeowner for municipal services are among the lowest in Ontario for a city the size of Sault Ste. Marie, and the quality of services provided in return among the highest.  

Other items provided for council’s consideration Monday include an update on the status of the city’s 5% Subdivider Reserve Fund.

That fund is a source for many recreational projects, the latest being a proposed bicycle pump track for Esposito Park.

The fund is also linked to supporting a leash-free dog park, McDonald Park playground equipment, Strathclair Park lighting for slo-pitch, an indoor golf range proposal for the Northern Community Centre and outdoor fitness equipment.

In addition, council will be asked to continue full funding for the city’s Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) from April 2014 through to March 31, 2016, to assist newcomers as they settle in Sault Ste. Marie.

 
Comments
12
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
itsme29 4/13/2014 9:50:50 PM Report

The rest of the surplus would be used to pay off the city’s share of funding for the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site’s new Visitor Centre (approximately $750,000).



you've gotta be kidding me! how many lifetimes will it take to get that money back from the little bit of tourism that old shack brings in...
ThinkAgain 4/13/2014 10:12:02 PM Report

Let the wasted taxpayers money begin while property tax increases once again.

I hope they all choke on the bottled water they drink the next meeting.
mikej 4/13/2014 10:50:05 PM Report

Pump track will be gnarly fun!
sportsfan17 4/14/2014 4:15:58 AM Report

Wasted taxpayers money? A 3.5 million surplus sounds like they did a pretty damn good job managing our money last year. I for one am satisfied with that.
David Poluck 4/14/2014 7:00:38 AM Report

From the report at last council meeting core service buildings including city hall will require 22 million in repairs.

Is there a surplus?

I looked up the definition as it pertains to accounting.

a.the excess of assets over liabilities accumulated throughout the existence of a business, excepting assets against which stock certificates have been issued; excess of net worth over capital-stock value.

b.an amount of assets in excess of what is requisite to meet liabilities.

Any accountants care to weigh in?

Wisenheimer 4/14/2014 8:18:40 AM Report

How about kicking in a few bucks to lure some good jobs to this dying burg, or fix the worst roads in the world or bulldoze crime central.
And puleese stop with that old stone house and that old boat and that old "temporary" casino.
Tourists are just dying to pack up the mini-van and visit the Sault to see those exciting exhibits.
bocca1 4/14/2014 9:56:00 AM Report

The city is putting $750,000. towards the Ermatinger house. I'd like to see the report on revenue because I have doubts that it pulls in that much. On the other hand the number of tourists that travel the Maki/Red Rock road, summer and winter, to access the Trail for hiking, snow shoeing, bird watching and skiing, use the roads and lake for snow mobiles in the winter, swarm to Red Rock in the summer for camping, swimming etc. FAR out ways, I suspect, what the old house brings in. The difference is that in order to access all those opportunities at Red Rock, and for tourists to go see the windmills, travellers, including school buses, and local contractors and residents must navigate the city's WORST "maintained" (and I use the term loosely) road. $750.000.00 would do an enormous amount of work needed but the city refuses to acknowledge it. God help anyone who ever needs an emergency response vehicle. It will either be delayed, not able to get to you, or treatment in the vehicle with be severely hampered because everyone will be bouncing around too much. The Red Rock Road is the city's shame.
Ski-Dude 4/14/2014 10:04:15 AM Report

"construction of canopies over exits at the Northern Community Centre (to protect the public from falling snow and ice) at a cost of approximately $200,000."

Was this not included in the original investment? Gross oversight or amortizing?
habsfan 4/14/2014 10:31:14 AM Report

Lighting of Strathclair Ball Fields about 20 years to late. Talk about a money raiser. Ever pay slowpitch fees latley.
firefly 4/14/2014 10:50:51 AM Report

What a waste of money on the Ermatinger house, use the money to fix the Civic centre, that is out dated, taxes going up again!!!! stop giving Fratesi a 3.4% raise and lower our taxes.....who decides this?????
amshld 4/14/2014 5:01:44 PM Report

nothing on housing!!!! people are homeless??? the extremely mentally ill people are living on the streets... shelter are full, and still no housing support??? even to have some programs to get people off streets..and they don't have to be frequent visitors at Sault Area hospital, which is costing a ton of money...MAYOR DEB you should be ashamed of your self...
Verbatim 4/14/2014 9:11:53 PM Report

We have a power plant...a steel plant that already produces steel for gm cars... a major water way and locks and a gateway to the USA at our border. I think this city should try and get a car manufacturer or something of that caliber to come here. We can offer lots of space for the land and a community in need of employment. seems like a win win situation to me.....just saying
Comments
12
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Advertising | Membership | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | About SooToday.com | Contact Us | Feedback

Copyright ©2014 SooToday.com - All rights reserved