Billings passes budget increase

KAGAWONG—Billings Township council has passed its municipal budget for 2018 that will see a slight increase for local taxpayers.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Billings council approved the 2018 budget which will see a two percent increase in the tax rate.

“We tried to keep the taxes down,” said councillor Sharon Alkenbrack, “and a two percent increase is not a lot.”

At a previous  budget meeting township clerk Kathy McDonald went through the draft budget with council. The budget is for a two increase in the tax rate, she told council, pointing out the township only received government funding for the hiring of one student this year.

As part of the budget, $335,000 is being transferred from reserves; of this $225,000 is being planned for the waterfront project, $50,000 for Main Street and $60,000 from subdivision reserves for the new playground.

The  budget includes an increase in firefighters remuneration by $4,500 and $35,000 for repairs and maintenance of the fire hall. It was also explained that the building permit fees need to be reviewed.

The township is also budgeting to get the parking lot on Main Street paved while the road hardsurfacing budget has been increased to $180,000.

Billing has budgeted to have the water tower relined, painted and safety concerns addressed. As well, council budgeted for engineering work to increase the footprint of the landfill.

The library has received a $2,000 increase in support over last year with this budget, while there  has been no change to the financial support provided to the museum. As well, new playground equipment is to be installed before mid-June.

Billings has budgeted for waterfront improvements in anticipation of government funding being approved and Main Street Hill improvements funding has been received for that project.