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Supporting the return of the Summer Concert Series will mean a slight increase to the 2022 Timmins budget.
Last week, council met for its second 2022 budget meeting.
Since the first meeting Dec. 7, the organizers of the Summer Concert Series asked council for $12,000 to support bringing back the weekly shows at the Hollinger Park. It increases the proposed 2022 net expenditure to 1.93 per cent over 2021, up from the previous 1.91 per cent originally presented.
The net expenditure includes a $35.2 million for operating costs, a decrease of $348,667 over this year, and $9.4 million for capital, a $1.1 million increase. The report does not include what the increase would mean for the average homeowner on their tax bill.
These figures do not include budgets from boards such as Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board, conservation authority, health unit, and others that will also potentially impact the tax levy.
For water and sewer rates, the 2022 increase is $53 — $22 for water and $31 for wastewater.
At the first budget meeting, council members pitched a total of 35 asks for the 2022 budget, including 15 projects for parks and recreation, 14 for engineering and public works, three for the museum and heritage, two for transit and one in housing.
CAO Dave Landers provided options for how some of the items could be funded without impacting the tax levy.
A number of projects brought up by council are already in the 2022 budget.
These include the design cost for a new skate park, although there’s no location for it yet, a pickleball court at Roy Nicholson ark, installing washrooms at the Connaught Community Centre, planting trees at Hollinger Park. The building condition audit will also include a recreation facility audit and give the city the first step for the engineering and design renovation at the McIntyre arena.
Staff is recommending that council use part of the city’s portion of the municipal accommodation tax to fund a “refresh” of the 2015 Recreation Master Plan. Landers said it would cost about $100,000 and not impact the budget.
That would give “more strategic decision making moving forward on what the recreation investments need to be for the community,” said Landers.
Some of the items pitched by council would be part of the plan and give guidance on the next steps. These include the second phase of the Whitney skate park, bathrooms at the Gervais Street and Duke park and Goldrush park, and a permanent stage at Hollinger Park.
Restoration work at the Whitney historical parkette, that features the train across the road from Bannerman Park, and a heritage impact assessment for the McIntyre Headframe could be done this year.
“This year we did receive a grant from government as part of the COVID response to support the tourism operations, which put us in financially a good position. There would be some reserve money from the museum or heritage side and it would be our recommendation that we just use those found savings to fund both of those projects out of this year’s projected surplus in the museum,” said Landers.
For roadwork, he said engineering needs to do a 10-year priority plan for surface treatment.
“We do have a reserve of material at the airport that could be utilized in different places throughout the city to help mitigate some cost,” he said.
The 2022 budget has not been approved. Council members have a chance to review it and ask questions until Jan. 17. If required, there will be a third draft Jan. 18 and the tentative date for approval is Feb. 8.