Municipality of Chatham-Kent officials say inflationary pressure is the driving force behind a projected 4.74 per cent tax increase, as Chatham-Kent Council got its first look at the 2022 Draft Municipal Budget on Wednesday evening.
“More than 90 per cent of the current increase is due to the inflation,” said Chatham Councillor and Budget Chair Brock McGregor stated, in a media release.
“It affects every facet of what we do. Construction costs alone are up eight per cent.”
Mayor Darrin Canniff said last fall council gave municipal staff a goal of keeping a 2022 budget increase to 5.03 per cent, allowing 3.3 per cent for inflation.
“We have all seen increases in items we buy on a daily basis,” Mayor Canniff stated, in a media release.
“This is true for the municipality also, the costs of materials and services we purchase have increased significantly due to inflation.”
McGregor said staff came back with a 4.74 increase by finding efficiencies while trying to maintain the same level of services residents expect.
“No one likes service cuts,” he said.
“We offer services based on taxpayers’ wants and needs. Every budget is a balancing act. We are mindful of the stresses the Pandemic has placed on segments of our community and we will work to find the best path forward.”
The leadership team of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance provided a deputation on Wednesday night.
The CKHA made a formal request for a one-time contribution of $500,000 from the Municipality.
These funds would go towards capital costs for a 10-bed residential withdrawal management unit at the hospital site in Chatham.
However, this would be contingent on the approval of operational funding from the Province.
Municipal officials say formal budget deliberations will begin January 26; however, the public is invited to provide input in a number of ways.
A brief summary of the draft budget will be presented by the administration at the beginning of each event.
Two opportunities for public input have been scheduled as follows:
Wednesday, January 19 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, January 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Budget Committee Deliberations
Wednesday, January 26, Thursday, January 27 and Tuesday, February 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
If more time is required, February 2 and 3 have also been set aside.
Written deputations of up to five minutes in length are welcome each evening. Submissions must be made by email to email@example.com before 3:00 p.m. each day.
Comments can also be made by:
Mail: Budget & Performance Services, Municipality of Chatham-Kent, 315 King Street W., P.O. Box 640, Chatham, Ontario, N7M 5K8
All budget meetings will be broadcast live on YourTV as well as live streamed on the YourTV YouTube channel. Community consultations will be broadcast on the Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Facebook Live feed.
Municipal budget details can be found here as soon as this evening’s session begins.