Blue Line

Selwyn Township councillors hear draft 2022 budget numbers

January 28, 2022  By Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Jan. 27, 2022, Peterborough, Ont. – Residents in the rural wards of Smith and Ennismore in Selwyn Township will see an increase of 2.33 per cent in their municipal tax rate for 2022, while Lakefield residents will see only a 0.45 per cent increase, due to differences in police services’ costs, the township’s draft budget proposes.

Lakefield is policed by Peterborough Police while the township’s rural wards are covered by Peterborough County OPP.

Lane Vance, manager of financial services and treasurer for the township, presented a draft budget to Selwyn Township councillors Thursday. A final report will be presented in February for adoption.

The percentage increases equate to a rise of $21.61 for a typical homeowner in the rural area based on an average property assessed at $314,173.

For the typical homeowner in Lakefield, it means an increase of $5.48.

Vance told councillors the township is on track for good year-end numbers.

“The building department once again had great numbers and our local building industry is very active,” he said.

But there is an unexpected deficit of $68,000 in fire services due to high call volumes and expenses incurred for good practice attendance by volunteer firefighters, he said.

Both township arenas are also showing deficits to the tune of about $152,000, Vance said.

Capital investments total a little more than $2 million, mostly for roads, roads equipment and street lights.

Waste costs fell because of increased user fees, councillors heard.

While assessment yields taxes, the township is also fortunate to receive a variety of provincial and federal grants to support its asset management and ongoing capital maintenance, said Vance.

The township was recently notified that it has been approved for a $400,000 Ontario Trillium grant to rebuild community sports courts, some of which are 25 years old, he continued.

Details will be announced in a few days, he said.

Mike Richardson, manager of recreation services for the township, told councillors at the meeting that the courts are in need of serious repair, noting sports such as pickleball and tennis have become “very, very popular”.

“Now you can’t go into any township without seeing a very active pickleball community, and when they get this news, they will be the happiest residents that we have in our township,” Richardson said.

– The Peterborough Examiner

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