By a vote of 5-1, Greater Napanee council officially adopted the 2018 budget at last week’s regular meeting.
The town will operate with a total budget of $24,574,241 with urban residential taxpayers seeing an average decrease of $43,06 on their tax bill while rural ratepayers will increase by a average of $52.21.
Those numbers are based on an assessed property worth $238,954.
Council adopted the budget after four meetings, held Dec. 15, Feb. 22, March 8 and March 22, in which council offered input on initial drafts presented by town staff. Among the amendments to the original drafts was to establish two new reserves- a conservation authority reserve of $35,000 and strategic plan reserve of $50,000. Staff was also directed to trim $10,000 from their original draft, which would be given as a grant to the Concerned Citizens Committee of Tyendinaga and Environs to help cover their legal fees resulting from their efforts to prevent landfill expansion.
Councillor Carol Harvey was the lone “no” vote while all other members of council, save for deputy mayor Marg Isbester who was absent, voted to pass the bylaw.
“I’m sorry but I can’t support this motion,” said Harvey before requesting a recorded vote.
Just before the recorded vote, councillor Mike Schenk asked why Harvey wouldn’t support the motion.
“I don’t feel I have to answer that,” said Harvey, to which mayor Gord Schermerhorn agreed. “I have no comment for that.”
In other Greater Napanee news…
- Council voted to receive a report from Diane Mitchell, national coordinator for the Save Canada Post campaign.
During her deputation she called on council to support the notion of maintaining a moratorium on post office closures and examine how to expand their open hours, access how Canada Post could offer more services, study how to turn post offices into community hubs and study the possibility of using Canada Post to offer wide band internet services and better cell phone services in rural areas.
Among the proposals by the Save Canada Post campaign is to develop the creation of a postal bank in response to the thousands of rural municipalities that do not have a bank in their community.
- Council took time at the start of last week’s meeting to formally recognize town staff with their annual service awards. They honoured 38 members for at least five years services as well as 28 municipal employees who earned an executive diploma in municipal management.