Taxes up 3% in Minden Hills
By Chad Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a March 28 meeting of Minden Hills council.
It looks like Minden Hills residents can expect a residential property tax rate increase of just more than three per cent at the lower-tier level for 2019.
Councillors reviewed the fourth draft of the budget following a public meeting. While during the third draft of the budget the overall tax levy increase was sitting at seven per cent and the property tax rate increase just less than five, the budget’s fourth draft included an overall tax levy increase of approximately 6.4 per cent and a residential property tax rate increase of just more than three per cent. That means for every $1,000 of assessment, taxes will increase from $3.54 to $3.65. For a home assessed at $300,000 with a three per cent phased-in increase in assessment, that would amount to an increase of just less than $65 in taxation for the year. That figure is for the lower-tier level and does not include taxes paid to the upper tier of the County of Haliburton. Taxes at the upper-tier level are increasing 5.72 per cent, equating to an increase of $11.39 for every $100,000 of assessment.
There will be a five per cent increase in water and waste water billing to accommodate increased costs and future capital needs.
The Minden Hills budget, to which there are no more expected changes, is scheduled to be formally passed on April 11.
Minden Hills will apply to Infrastructure Ontario, an agency of the provincial government, for a loan to cover the bulk of the cost of the $13-million S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena renewal project.
The township will apply for a loan of up to $12.5 million, with the stipulation that any loan advances in excess of $11.9 million receive prior approval from council. The township will also be applying for grants and conducting a fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of the project, which will include the construction of a brand new arena, new gymnasium and renovations to the existing community centre building. The loan repayment will likely be debentured over a 30-year period. The new building is expected to have a lifespan of at least 40 years, according to the architectural and construction firms working on the project.
Township creates fundraising campaign
Council has directed the arena task force to put out a call to the public, stakeholders, user groups and community organizations for a fundraising campaign to help cover the costs of the $13-million S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena renewal project. Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin has said he believes it’s possible for as much as $1 million to be raised. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is scheduled for Friday, April 26, and it’s anticipated the project will be completed in time for the 2020/21 ice season.
Devolin named to EORN board
Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin has been named to the board of directors for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, owned by the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus. EORN is currently working on a project to expand mobile broadband internet throughout eastern Ontario, including in Haliburton County. EORN is looking for $71 million from the federal government to match $71 million that has been committed by the province to the project and while there was $1.7 billion for rural broadband included in the recent federal budget, there has not yet been an official announcement regarding the EORN request. The remainder of the funding for the $213-million project would come from the involved municipalities, as well as the mobile service provider companies.