|At our meeting on February 26 town council had an opportunity to discuss in detail the Town’s 2019 Operational and the Capital budgets. These budgets represent the cost of town operations and are separate from those of the Region and School Boards. All three have an impact on our annual tax bills.
There are many different aspects to the local budget documents. Some of the highlights are as follows;
- Operations will consume $71.0 million of the tax dollar invoiced by the town and an additional $17.9 million has been set aside for various capital projects.
- The increase in this budget from that of 2018 will equate to an estimated additional $31.00 for the average detached single family home with a property appraised value of $625,000.
- An estimated $61.00 total property tax change per home includes the combined Regional, Town and Public School Board.
One of the major changes in the Operations portion of the budget which directly benefits our Ballantrae area, is the approval to hire four additional firefighters. This additional staff will allow the Ballantrae Fire Station to transition to a complete full-time 24/7 service. To accommodate this additional service certain modifications will be required at the current fire-station structure. My fellow councillors supported assigning $825,000 in the Capital budget for this purpose. I have agreed to be the council representative on the steering committee for this project.
Approval was also provided for a $1.9 million Grant to the W-S Public Library.
Approved Capital projects such as the following will be completed in Ward 2. The street lighting systems along Aurora Road will be changed before year-end. The first significant change will be the traffic signals at the intersection of Highway 48 where advanced left turn signals will be installed. Thereafter street lights will be installed on Aurora Road extending the two KM section from the Ballantrae Community Centre west to Grayfield Drive.
Funds were also made available to complete the rebuild of Felcher Park. Grand reopening is scheduled for early summer. $350,000 remains in the Leisure Services budget for outdoor pickleball courts.
Further details and supporting documents are available online at townofws.ca/budgets