South Dundas finalizes budget, outlines impact; plans to hire full-time By-Law officer, overhaul website

South Dundas Mayor Evonne Delegarde. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

MORRISBURG — The Municipality of South Dundas will collect an average of 3.18 percent more from residential taxpayers experiencing the average assessment increase in 2017.

It works out to an additional $14.98 per $100,000 of assessed value for a South Dundas home, the municipality explains in a press release outlining its 2017 budget. The hike does not take into account increases in the United Counties or Education portions of the property tax bill.

Municipal coffers will be bolstered by respective provincial and federal sources as well. South Dundas anticipates 2.56 percent more from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, and $189,330 more from Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, up $112,720 from last year. A Federal Gas Tax allocation of  $326,081 will help finance road and facility projects.

Expenditure highlights of the 2017 South Dundas budget include:

  • donations to community organizations and agencies totalling $19,000;
  • a contribution toward a new dog pound;
  • key road priorities, including Pigeon Island Rd reconstruction;
  • $321,600 for pedestrian infrastructure improvements within Morrisburg;
  • $400,000 for bridges;
  • continued contribution to the landfill reserve for future closing costs;
  • $103,471 to upgrade Morrisburg beach and waterfront washrooms, and the Iroquois beach washrooms;
  • beautification of the two 401 Highway signs installed in 2016;
  • ice surface rehabilitation at the Morrisburg Arena for which a $315,000 Ontario Trillium Grant was received;
  • addition to the South Dundas Municipal Centre parking lot;
  • up to $50,000 for the re-design of the South Dundas website (which has yet to go to tender);
  • a full-time by-law officer position.

The municipality says it continues to maintain healthy reserves, with budgeted contributions this year intended to address long-term planning projects anticipated in the next five to 10 years. The municipality expects this to mitigate future increases when projects are undertaken.

The budget was approved at the March 7 council meeting, and the final tax rates will be calculated in advance of the final billing in June.