Burpee and Mills passes slight budget increase

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EVANSVILLE – Taxpayers in Burpee and Mills will see a slight increase in their taxes this year.

“Council passed the budget which includes an increase of less than one percent,” stated Ken Noland, reeve of Burpee and Mills after a council meeting held this past Monday.

“Our OMPF (Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund) funding remained at the same level or with just a slight decrease this year,” said Reeve Noland. He said that although the township faced increases in costs for district services board (DSB), health unit and policing costs, “with our overall increase in assessment we were able to keep the budget increase to a less than one percent increase.”

“There will be no cuts in services; we will be maintaining our current level of services to our residents,” continued Reeve Noland. “We don’t have any major projects planned for this year; the (Gore Bay-Manitoulin) airport renovations will be one, but this work probably won’t start until next year.” 

Reeve Noland said in some places municipal or township councils, “have deferred taxes etc. We only send out one tax bill each year, in August. Council didn’t feel we needed to defer the tax bills until later in the year as we will already be two-thirds of the way through the year at the end of August.”

“At the municipal level COVID-19 has not had a huge impact on us, not like the municipalities who derive revenues from marinas or those who host big events like summer festivals in Gore Bay, Little Current and Central Manitoulin which draws tourists to the community and businesses. It’s our residents that have been affected by the pandemic with job losses.”

“Hopefully with only having a slight increase in taxes and only one tax bill coming out two-thirds of the way through the year it will not be a hardship on the taxpayers,” said Reeve Noland.

On a different issue, Reeve Noland told the Recorder, “our municipal office will be reopening to the public today (Tuesday), with one member of the public allowed in the office at a time, and with the necessity of customers wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and following social physical distancing requirements.” He added that the municipal (complex) hall, washrooms and fitness gymnasium remain closed to the public for now.