March 7, 2019

Mayor Don’s Update – by Don Allen

Springwater Budget

Council approved Springwater’s Budget & Business Plan for 2019. Council and staff worked diligently analyzing all expenditures to keep the tax increase as low as possible, while still maintaining current service levels and investing in capital infrastructure. Staff and Council reviewed proposed increased service requests through program changes and worked to settle these at acceptable levels. Residents will see a blended tax increase of 1.76% (compared to 1.86% in 2018) when combined with the County of Simcoe portion, the education rate (assumed to remain neutral) and the increased policing charge of 5.26% to $240. The impact of the budget is a $67.18 increase over 2018 based on an average residential property valued at $451,393, or $14.88 per $100,000 of property assessment.

The Water rates are being held at the same rates as in 2018.The Wastewater rate is budgeted to increase by 4.3%, with an impact of $35.70 for the year on a typical residential household.

 Expenditures of $40.7 million are divided $20 million in operating expenditures, $16.6 million in capital expenditures, $2.7 million in water operations and $1.4 million for wastewater operations. For every tax dollar spent, $0.40 is retained by Springwater for services, $0.34 goes to the County of Simcoe, $0.20 goes towards Education and $0.06 is allocated toward Policing.

Off-Road Vehicle Open House

Save the evening of March 27 or March 28. The Township will be holding two public open house meetings to obtain input from Springwater residents as to whether they support or do not support the use of off-road vehicles on more Springwater roads and trails than presently is allowed. The March 27th meeting will be at 6pm at the Elmvale Community Hall and March 28th will be same time at the Springwater Administration Centre.

Elmvale & District Food Bank (“Food Bank”)

Further to my write-up regarding this in the last Springwater News, a delegation by Deb McLean and Rob McClung and other supporting volunteers was made at the last Council meeting. They reviewed the present situation at the Food Bank and the need for more workable space. Council then reviewed a Staff report on the options and it was approved by Council that construction of a new facility for the Elmvale & District Food Bank will occur at 62 Yonge Street North. The Township of Springwater will make a one-time capital contribution of $100,000 towards the construction of a new facility for the Food Bank, drawn from the Elmvale Hydro Reserve Fund and the Township will front end the necessary funds in excess of $200,000 from the Elmvale Hydro Reserve Fund for the construction of a new facility and this funded amount in excess of the $200,000 will be repaid annually over a period of up to ten years.

Suggestions had been made about other possible lands that could be used and the possibility of purchasing used school portables for the facility. We are presently considering other potential joint uses with this new facility which would enhance and contribute to the total project and these would otherwise not be possible to consider.    

Central Ontario Agriculture Conference

I attended the 40th annual Central Ontario Agricultural Conference in Barrie last week. The sessions were excellent, focusing the first day on topics relating to organics, backyard farming, dairy and sheep. The second day dealt with crops and equine. Speakers were excellent and it was great networking with farmers and discussing issues. You won’t get a better deal and such great knowledge for the price. Well done to the conference organizers. 

The comments here reflect my perspective and do not necessarily represent those of the whole of Council.

This month, I started monthly radio comments reviewing current Springwater news items with Rock95 and 107.5 KOOL FM news director Dan Blakeley. See https://barrie360.com/springwater-update/

Contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca or 705-728-4784 ext. 2013 to set a time to meet or reach me directly at 705-302-4253. We can also stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MayorDonAllen and review updates on www.donallen.ca.