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Municipal Budget

The Municipal budget decisions establish the priority for important infrastructure projects, programs, services, and facilities we all depend on.  The budget process is a balancing act, often between competing priorities - what can we afford and providing the best possible level of services for residents.

The Treasurer is responsible for coordinating the overall budget process with active support of departmental managers, the Chief Administrative Officer and Council.  Throughout the year, the Treasurer provides regular financial reports to, and receives input from, senior staff, Committees and Council for the purpose of monitoring expenditures within the various budget areas.

The Township’s budget is a public document and you may view or receive a copy of it by contacting the Treasurer.  

 

2022 Budget Highlights

On March 17, 2022 the Township of Algonquin Highlands Council passed By-Law 2022-25 to adopt the estimates of expenditures, in the amount of $14,614,688.00 and revenues, in the amount of $8,617,509.00 for the 2022 calendar year.  The sum of $5,997,179.00 shall be levied for General Municipal purposes on the assessment in each property class to fund the remaining 2022 estimated expenditures. 

The Township portion of the tax rate will realize an increase of $7.79 or 2.33% per $100,000 of Residential Assessment.  While the combined tax rate, including County of Haliburton and Education requirements, results in an increase of $14.94 or 2.107% per $100,000 of Residential Assessment.

Although the pandemic continues to linger, the Township is looking forward to opening facilities and restarting programmes in 2022.  Operational projects are planned and estimates in place, however supply chain issues and increased costs for supplies continue to be a concern.

The chart below provides a breakdown by department and/or service of the anticipated expenditures as a percentage of the total cost.

A pie chart is pictured to show the breakdown of department expenditures for the year 2022 for the Township. General Government expenditures total $1,563,125.00 and represents 11% of the total expenditures. Protection to Persons and Property expenditures total $2,587,804.00 and represents 18% of the total expenditures. Transportation expenditures total $3,531,083.00 and represents 24% of the total expenditures. Airport expenditures total $876,666.00 and represents 6% of the total expenditures. Environmental services expenditures total $2,389,724.00 and represents 16% of total expenditures. Health services expenditures total $43,480.00 and represents less than 1% of total expenditures. Parks, Recreation and Trails expenditures total $3,411,596.00 and represents 23% of total expenditures and finally, Planning and Development expenditures total $211,210.00 and represent the final 2% of the total expenditures estimated for 2022.

The following chart provides a breakdown by department and/or service of the anticipated revenues as a percentage of the total.

A pie chart is pictured to show the anticipated revenues for the year 2022 for the Township. General Government revenues total $1,977,630.00 and represents 14% of the total revenues. Protection to Persons and Property revenues total $509,650.00 and represents 4% of the total revenues. Transportation revenues total $1,353,880.00 and represents 9% of the total revenues. Airport revenues total $638,450.00 and represents 4% of the total revenues. Environmental services revenues total $1,626,765.00 and represents 11% of total revenues. Health services revenues total $25,000.00 and represents less than 1% of total revenues. Parks, Recreation and Trails revenues total $2,389,134.00 and represents 16% of total revenues. Planning and Development revenues total $97,000.00 and represent 1% of the total revenues and finally, taxation revenues total $5,997,179.00 and represents 41% of the total revenues estimated for 2022.

 

In November 2021 Council and staff met to discuss the projects and priorities for the coming year with the intention of improving and modernizing services, increasing efficiencies and maintaining sustainability in accordance with the Township of Algonquin Highlands Strategic Vision.  These projects and priorities are outlined below.

General Government

With the completion of the additional office spaces in the basement, maintenance staff will now be completing the box joist insulation project, upgrading older lighting to new more energy efficient options, and replacing the roof shingles to continue the Township’s efforts for energy efficiencies where possible.

Operationally, the administrative team will be completing the financial software implementation along with the purchase and implementation of new cemetery software and asset management software to establish more efficient ways to manage, report and track municipal data.

The Township continues to strive to be meet accessibility standards and is planning to retain document remediation services to update existing documents and also purchase and implement software to create accessible and fillable forms.   The Township intends to upgrade and modernize the municipal website, to utilize the more efficient financial software.  We will be able to provide more accessible and efficient means for property owners to submit payments, permits and requests to establish enhanced contactless service options.

In 2021, the Communications Coordinator position was recruited on a contractual basis and in 2022 will develop a communications strategy in conjunction with staff and Council.  The Coordinator will continue to provide purposeful community engagement platforms on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the municipal website to further enhance the Township’s strategic vision.

The Cultural Plan will be updated to include indigenous awareness.

In election news, the Township of Algonquin Highlands and neighbouring municipalities in Haliburton County are implementing telephone and internet voting methods for the 2022 municipal and school board election.

In 2021, the municipality received a generous donation toward the Columbarium project and we are excited to announce that a new columbarium will be installed at Maple Lake Cemetery in 2022.

Protection to Persons and Property

Fire Services

Under the direction of the new Fire Chief, the department will update the master Fire Plan and complete a community risk assessment in 2022.  Along with regular replacements of protective gear, the department is also planning to purchase new extrication equipment, replace fire hose, upgrade the air compressor and purchase effective scene lighting.   Algonquin Highland Fire Service is also participating in a joint purchase with other County of Haliburton area fire departments for the purchase of a Fit Testing machine for N95 masks and SCBA masks.

Building and Bylaw Department

Lots of changes are in store for 2022 for the Building Department.   With the retirement of the Chief Building Official, the Deputy Building Official has been promoted to Chief, and the recruitment of a new Deputy is underway.  The department is also expanding and added a full-time position of Bylaw Officer.  The septic re-inspection program is now in its final year.

Accessibility

Due to supply chain issues the Stanhope Library chair-lift project was not completed in 2021.   This year the Township plans to complete the project which will improve accessibility and a portion of the project is being funded by the Enabling Accessibility Fund.

Transportation and Environment

Airport – the Township will be updating the Airport Development Plan in 2022 and reviewing the main terminal building layout to consider ways to revamp the space to be more accessible.   Drainage challenges around the hangers will be addressed and staff will continue with regular maintenance of the building and runway.

Buildings and Maintenance – various projects are planned for many of the facilities managed by the township with the intention of improving accessibility, and increasing energy efficiency.   The Dorset Recreation Centre will be the main project for the maintenance crew as we complete the mould remediation and get the HVAC upgrade project underway to improve ventilation.

Equipment – replacement of aged equipment will continue in accordance with the vehicle replacement plan and in conjunction with other departments.  As always, vehicles will be redeployed to other departments to complete their lifecycles where possible.   Council approved the purchase and implementation of new software for Public Works vehicles known as AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) to better and more accurately track vehicle activities such as plowing, sanding and grading.

Construction Projects – a design plan, tender and phased construction will continue on North Shore Road along with a reconstruction projects planned for McPhail Road and Nordic Inn Road.   Surface treatment applications are planned for approximately 11 kilometres of roadway throughout the Township.

Bridge Repairs – minor repairs are planned for bridges throughout the year and the Township will be working with the County of Haliburton to perform the biennial structure inspections process.

Waste – site reconfiguration efforts will continue for Maple Lake Landfill which will increase efficiencies and create a more seamless flow for users and operators.   Site improvements, expansions, the installation of new technologies and continued efforts for waste diversion through program enhancements will continue in 2022 for other waste centres throughout the Township.

Parks, Recreation and Trails

Parks and Trails – maintenance projects will be completed at various locations including resurfacing playground surfaces, paving parking lots, replacing equipment and installing bear proof waste receptacles as needed.  Increased staffing at the Trails office will allow for improved customer service, map signage is to be replaced and updated and the department established a special reserve to contribute towards an addition or new building at the Trails office location as patronage continues to increase and the department continues to grow.

Dorset Tower – the installation of a lightening protection system was planned for 2021 but not completed.  It is once again on the docket for 2022 along with roadway improvements and the creation of an online advance ticketing system to include timed entry for the busy fall colour season.

Docks and Landings – landing improvements, including docks and gangways, will be replaced and upgraded at Lower Fletcher (Skin) Lake, Raven Lake and at the Frost Centre property.

Water Systems and Equipment – new outdoor taps will be installed at the Dorset Recreation Centre and the Stanhope Firefighters’ Hall to improve public access to drinking water.

Planning and Development

Zoning Bylaw – the Comprehensive Zoning By-law review will be completed in 2022 and the initial stages of the Official Plan review will commence. 

Short Term Rentals – Council and staff will continue to participate in the Short Term Rental review with the County of Haliburton.

Shore Road Allowance and License of Occupation Policy – will continue to be reviewed and updated.

2022 Budget Summary

In addition to the projects outlined above, regular operations will continue and the budget reflects these ongoing costs for all departments which include but are not limited to:

  • staff improvements through training and certifications;
  • ongoing contributions to reserves to ensure financial sustainability into the future;
  • continued review and implementation of the Asset Management Plan, passed by Council in 2020, to ensure Township assets can be replaced as forecasted and finances are in place, where possible, to fund these replacements;
  • continued maintenance activities on Township facilities with an emphasis on energy management, conservation and increased efficiencies.

All departments will continue to work with the County of Haliburton and area municipalities on the Service Delivery review and on the implementation of these recommendations for various municipal operations/practises in an effort to harmonize services throughout the county.

The Township of Algonquin Highlands have several major projects planned for 2022 which are being funded mainly from Reserves and grant funds received from upper levels of government, including:

  • the mould remediation project at Dorset Recreation Centre;
  • the HVAC upgrade at Dorset Recreation Centre;
  • the reconfiguration of the Maple Lake Landfill site; and,
  • the reconstruction of three roadways in the Township.

The budget document also included several new expenditures in 2022 in comparison to previous years including:

  • increased support costs in various department for additional and improved software and online platforms to provide additional avenues for communication and increase efficiencies for staff and provide more accessible information for property owners;
  • increased costs related to energy efficient initiatives such as the EVC – electric charging station;
  • increased staffing costs to meet increased patronage;
  • increased staffing costs related to an increased permanent population in Algonquin Highlands as people move away from larger populated areas due to the pandemic; and,
  • the creation of new reserves to offset anticipated future infrastructure needs.

The 2022 Budget represents the commitment of Council and staff to provide a fiscally responsible financial outlook for the year while continuing to strive for excellence and improvements where possible that are in line with the Township Strategic Plan and in the best interest of the residents of the Township of Algonquin Highlands.

Contact Information

Treasurer
Phone: 705-489-2379 Ext. 328
E-mail: jhughes@algonquinhighlands.ca