Tax hike more than expected as Lake Country council approves 3.13 per cent hike

Budget 2015 meetings see council approve tax hike and add a few capital projects

Lake Country residents will be paying the tax man more than expected.

Council approved the 2015 municipal budget Thursday, which includes a 3.13 per cent municipal tax increase. That is up from a proposed 2.76 per cent.

“We added a couple of things we want to get done that add up to about $35,000,” said Mayor James Baker.

Among them is an irrigation/cross-connection valve at Jack Seaton Park.

“We don’t want raw water running into our pipe,” said Baker.

The parking lot at the Oyama fire hall will also be repaved.

“It’s dangerous because it’s cracked and people could trip and fall,” said Baker.

The 3.13 per cent tax hike translates into $50 for the average home.

“As always, council was walking a difficult path, trying get maximum benefit from each dollar while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of residents coupled with providing services and amenities that support our community,” said Coun. Owen Dickie.

“Like many municipalities, we are faced with the decision of spending money to maintain our infrastructure or defer then completely replace at a later date and much higher cost.  The District of Lake Country has chosen to maintain.”

Dickie says recent restructuring has allowed funds to be directed to infrastructure maintenance, inflationary pressures and possible purchase of the Canadian National rail line.

“District staff have done an amazing job of finding economies within the system that have allowed this to happen,” he said.

It’s expected the 2015 budget bylaw will be adopted by council by the end of March.

“We are carrying on with the services we have done without breaking taxpayers,” said Baker