Gordon Twp taxpayers to see increase in taxes

Gordon/Barrie Island

GORDON—A large increase in costs that cannot be controlled by the municipality has led to an increase in taxes for residents of Gordon/Barrie Island this year.

“Normally we pass budgets with an increase of between 1.5-two percent,” said Gordon/Barrie Island Reeve Lee Hayden after a council meeting last week. “This year’s budget had basically been set about a month ago, and at that time we knew there would be cost increases but when the actual numbers came in,  they were very harsh.”

“Council passed this year’s budget with an increase of 3.5 percent,” said Reeve Hayden. “This is higher than for most municipalities on the Island this year, but we are realizing the tremendous increase in costs. For instance, at our meeting, our roads superintendent (Arran Campbell) informed council that in terms of the costs of surface treatment on roads, these costs have gone up 25 percent. This surface and roads treatment is a major part of our budget every year,” he said, pointing out as well, “we were also informed that calcium treatment costs will be increasing about the same amount. We have to be very careful on these extra costs.”

“As we all know, inflation is running wild,” stated Reeve Hayden. “All municipalities are going to come to the same realization we have and second guess how they are going to pay these extra costs. The figures alone on the surface treatment costs are frightening.”

Reeve Hayden said, due to the significant increase in costs, “instead of doing resurface work on eight kilometres of roads in the township, we will have to cut this back to six kilometres this year.”

Reeve Hayden said that fuel costs have gone up over 30 percent, “and of course everything we do involves needing fuel for our municipal township equipment.”

“An increase of 3.5 percent in our budget will not go far in relation to inflationary costs,” said Reeve Hayden. “It is going to be a struggle, and when the year ends the final figures will be interesting. It is a very sobering thing when you hear some of these numbers.”

“At the end of the day,  there is very little of the budget that we have control of. It is going to be tough operating the municipality even with these increases in taxes,” the reeve said, adding, “I should mention though, that our municipal tax rates are still some of the lowest on Manitoulin Island.”