Budget 2023: Number crunching continues in Wilmot

By Casey Taylor

As budget season continues in Ontario, it's still not quite clear how much more homeowners in Wilmot Township will be paying the tax man this year.

The projected budget bump in 2023 had been pinned at around 9.8% but that was prior to town council asking staff to find what fat could be trimmed.

“Considering the economy globally and our aging infrastructure, I don't know if there's necessarily an ideal number versus what it'll be,” said Wilmot Mayor Natasha Salonen, suggesting a balancing act between what the township can afford to cut and what local taxpayers can afford to shell-out.

“I think a big thing too is really focusing on what we need now and what's critical and what service levels we want to keep, so whatever percentage that results in,” Salonen said. “Of course also being conscious that people have multiple pressures beyond just their property taxes going up that we need to be cognizant of for affordability purposes.”

Salonen said she can't speak for council as a whole but says she believes a priority should be placed on maintaining forward-facing service levels while also hopefully improving customer service across the board.

“Certainly I'd be willing to say everyone on council wants to get the best bang for our buck and be looking at preventative measures being prioritized as well so, in three or four years time, we're not left with bad decisions we made now [with] further degrading infrastructure and higher costs in that sense.”

She said there's also been a lot of talk in the community about the potential for a third ice pad though, while still on the table, it may not be high on the immediate priority list.

“In terms of the one down at the old ice pad, we have asked staff for the numbers on the cost to actually get that up and running,” she said. “My understanding, however, beyond just the physical getting an ice pad in there, the staffing side of things, because we currently have two ice pads at another facility, we'd be looking at doubling staff.”

“It's also in the flood plane so there's other potential issues and hiccups with that,” Salonen continued. “So I don't know the viability of that, to be honest, but in terms of a third ice pad in general — we definitely hear from our residents that it is something that we do want.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today