Espanola municipal budget increase reduced

Before the COVID-19 protocols were put in place, the first draft of the Espanola municipal budget was presented to council with an increase of just over six percent but that has been substantially reduced.

Back on January 22nd, Espanola CAO Cynthia Townsend presented the 2020 budget to council which included an increase of 6.14% in the tax levy.

But, council asked for the departments to review their budgets and bring those increases down, which Townsend says now sits at a proposed increase of 2.29%.

The average increase to a home owner with an assessment of $100,000 will be about $45.74.

Townsend says due to the COVID-19 protocols, no meetings are being held, but council is putting together a protocol to take care of important matters while still meeting physical distancing requirements.

She adds the date set to pass the budget is April 14th.

Townsend says the budget will see a decrease in the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund grants, and increases in health unit funding, bylaw enforcement increase, fire and complex budgets and Care Van funding.

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