North Dundas budget pieces fall into place

by Matthew Uhrig
Press staff

WINCHESTER – Number crunching is well underway in the Township of North Dundas as municipal staff and politicians work toward final budget numbers for 2015.

The process got underway in mid-December with an unofficial levy increase announced at 4.19 per cent, and an expenditure plan of $10.9 million.

Comparatively, the municipality is thus far anticipating just $5.3 million in revenues this year. Anticipated taxation has been pegged at $5.6 million, which would make up the difference. Overall, the budget in its current state forms a $223,397 increase from 2014 to 2015.

Council members and department heads have been working the numbers since the initial meeting, and were expected to return to the budget process during last night (Tues., Jan. 20)’s township meeting.

Highlights of the draft budget include a public works spending scheme of $4.2 million, which includes $655,100 for roadwork, and recreation expenditure of $2.5 million.

A key aspect of the recreation plan sees North Dundas allotting $225,000 for improvement efforts at the Chesterville Pool.

The project features the removal and replacement of the existing marbelite pool finish and some tile repair, and improving the current concrete pool deck and the reinstatement of deck fixture grounding, sub-drains and landscaping surrounding the aquatic facility. Underground piping is also to be replaced.

Other budgetary considerations has money going toward needed items at municipally-owned facilities, a sore point for some members of council who this year are expected to work toward consolidation of certain centres.

For the North Dundas Fire Department, the township has a necessary need to spend, thus far budgeted at $26,867, for updated self-contained breathing apparatuses.

Meanwhile, $15,000 has been set aside to help with costs associated to Winchester being the host site for this year’s Eastern Ontario Firefighters’ Association Games.

The township is also looking at expenditure for two other items of municipal significance.

To date, no money has been set aside for either project, yet council has discussed each as a possibility. First, CAO Angela Rutley floated the idea of investing funds to determine the viability of setting up a municipal archive.

According to Rutley, North Dundas is often on the receiving end of historically relevent artifacts, but without specific storage space. Chesterville’s heritage building, she added, is “filled to the rafters.”

Also, members of the Winchester Downtown Revitalization Committee have met with township staff regarding possible aesthetic improvements to the three asphalt islands at the village’s County Road 31 entryways.

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