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Town Of Vermilion Council Approves Budget

A regular Town Council Meeting was held on Tuesday, December 21, and here are some of the decisions made. Deputy Mayor for January and February 2022 will be Councillor Conlon. The council defeated a motion by the Parks, Recreation and Culture Board to have council amend Bylaw 5-202.

The Town’s Retail Development Incentive Program was approved to assist Perfectly Mentionables, a new business in Vermilion in setting up their location. It was moved by Councillor Robert Snow

“That Council for the Town of Vermilion pre-approve Perfectly Mentionables for up to $15,000 under the 2021 Retail Development Incentive Program providing 1. The exact incentive to be paid once renovations are complete and all receipts are submitted to the Economic Development Committee for review. 2. Payment of the Incentive will occur before June 30, 2022. 3. Perfectly Mentionables understands their acceptance of the incentive payment through the Retail Development Incentive Program is a one-time payment only. 4. The cost of the program plaque will be taken out of the incentive paid.”

Council had the second and third readings of the 2022 Operating and Capital budget, and voted to approve it. In a press release on December 22, the Town broke down the basics of the budget.

“Administration for the Town of Vermilion proposed a 2022 Operating and Capital Budget with the goal of ensuring that Council’s highest priority programs are maintained, the right generation is paying the costs, and any changes in tax and other rates are as predictable and stable as possible while supporting the Town’s financial sustainability. An operating surplus of $10,371 not including amortization is budgeted in 2022, as well as Capital expenditures of $2,070,000 in 2022 are included in the proposed budget.

The proposed budget includes streamlining staff efficiencies as well as numerous other measures to reduce costs in contracted services and supplies. Council has encouraged Town Leadership to reduce costs where possible and Management has carefully reviewed all expenditure areas from the standpoint of materials, supplies, contract services and personnel costs.

With non-discretionary expenses including RCMP contracted costs, insurance, utilities, inflationary increases in numerous expenses, decreased revenues and decreased provincial funding there was still a net revenue shortfall. The increase in RCMP contracted costs accounted for 50 per cent of the required increase in property tax revenue.

The shortfall will be funded by a $115,861 increase in municipal property tax revenue. For every $2,000 in municipal property tax paid by residents this will amount to a change of $44 annually, $66 for municipal property tax of $3,000 or $88 annually for municipal tax of $4,000. For the average resident, whose property tax consists of the provincially managed education property tax requisition, Lodge (Vermilion & District Housing Foundation) requisition, library requisition and a combination of changes in assessment approximate municipal portion of their total property tax bill is 70 per cent.”

During the round table discussion at the end of the meeting, Councillor Whitlock expressed his uneasiness with the approved budget, and the increase to Town Councillor income listed in it. Councillor Whitlock disclosed that he will not be accepting the increase in pay allocated to council members in the 2022 Operating Budget, as he believes that in these times when people are shutting their doors and having to downsize, a pay increase is not appropriate at the present moment.

Council Meetings are at present available to the public by electronic means only as per COVID-19 Recommendations as per Public Meeting Procedures (COVID-19 Suppression) Regulation. You can continue to watch Council meetings through the Town’s YouTube channel which you can access through their website. The next regular Council meeting is January 4, at 7 p.m.

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