Billings Township passes budget with 3.5 percent increase

KAGAWONG—Billings Township council has passed a budget for this year, with an increase.

“At the end of the day, it is a reasonable budget, particularly when  everyone is dealing with the current economic climate and inflation being at about eight percent,” said Billings Mayor Ian Anderson after a council meeting last week. “Expenses for costs like fuel, gravel, and building materials have increased, including some things that have gone up considerably.”

“A 3.5 percent increase in this year’s budget is reasonable,” said Mayor Anderson. He pointed out the township council had, “passed a zero percent budget increase last year to help everyone out through COVID-19, although things got even worse. And it will cost us even more to operate as a township this year.”

“As usual, our township staff did a really good job of making sure we are maintaining essential services,” said Mayor Anderson. “There are not a lot of extras on our plate.”

Mayor Anderson said there are several projects the township has undertaken, one being the refurbishing of the current Billings Fire Department building. “With the fire hall, we had to review our math on this project because of the increase in costs. Initially we had hoped to do this for a cost of $500,000-$600,000.”

However, “the cold, hard reality is that there is a real potential that these costs to the township will increase and be in the neighhourhood of $800,000 with $100,000 of this being engineering costs,” said Mayor Anderson. “There is no doubt the overall costs have gone up,” he said adding the township, “is still planning and hoping to get this project started this year.”