A 2023 Budget That Is Accessible Despite Inflation

Champlain, March 17, 2022 – At a Special Council meeting on March 16, the Township of Champlain's Council was presented the 2023 municipal budget of $25.7 million, with an operating budget of $15,606,335 and capital projects of $10,094,488. The municipal budget will be approved at the regular meeting on Wednesday, March 22.

For 2023, the property tax bill is increased by 3.6%. An increase of 1% represents $71,756 for the Township of Champlain. For a house with an average property assessment of $225,883, the increase represents $99.50:

  • $65.15 for the municipal portion (4.5%)
  • $34.10 for the United Counties' portion (3,53%).
  • No increase in school taxes

The Mayor was very satisfied with the budget presented and with being the 3rd lowest municipal tax bill in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell: " It is essential to keep improving our infrastructure, to invest in facilities for our children and our community and to maintain the efficient operation of the municipality. The Stephens, St-Denis and King Streets rehabilitation projects, the landfill investments and the library and arena improvements are projects that cost close to $10.3M, but only $4.8M are collected from property taxes because of the outstanding work of the Department Heads who were able to secure significant grants. It is remarkable that the Administration has been able to control the combined tax increase to 3.6%, despite inflation and the strong rise in the consumer price index over the past two years.”

A Budget Greatly Impacted by Inflation

Projects and expenses for 2023 are greatly impacted by the inflation of the last two years. For example, the fuel and gas budget must be increased by $67,000 and winter road sand must be increased by $45,000. In addition, due to the increase in lawsuits against Ontario municipalities and inflation, the liability insurance policy must also be adjusted by $45,000 in 2023. As shown in the table below, property taxes have not increased by enough since 2020 to cover the higher inflation rate.

Year CPI Increase Total Tax Increase
2020 1.39% 1.65%
2021 5.4 % 2.61%
2022 6.35% 3.6%
Total 13.14% 7.86%

Accessibility for All

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a law that sets out a process for developing and enforcing accessibility standards. The goal of the AODA is to reduce and remove barriers for people with disabilities so that Ontario can become more accessible and inclusive for everyone. Accessibility standards are regulations that public government must follow in order to become more accessible, and this includes recreational facilities and parks, infrastructure, roads and online communications. The Township of Champlain, as well as all municipalities in Ontario, is required to submit an Accessibility Compliance Action Plan Progress Report on an annual basis, and many investments and works are required to ensure compliance with the AODA:

  • Dedicated parking near L'Orignal Beach ($4,500)
  • Ramps and mats at Mill Street Park ($10,000)
  • Mats under slides and swings at Woodhill, Pilon and Desjardins parks ($4,800)
  • Remediation of public documents to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA ($20,000)

Highlights of the 2023 Budget

  • Grants for community organizations ($39,420);
  • Federal, provincial and regional government capital grants of $4,032,259.
  • Condition assessment of all municipal infrastructure as required by the Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure Regulation (O. Reg. 588/2017) which requires an approved asset management plan that identifies the current levels of service of all municipal infrastructure and the costs required to maintain those levels of service by July 2024 ($141,000)
  • New self-contained breathing apparatus for the firefighters ($433,000)

Roads and Public Works

  • Phase 2 and final phase of the wastewater and stormwater management systems and King Street rehabilitation in L'Orignal ($1.6M in 2022 and $3.2M in 2023)
  • Rehabilitation of L'Orignal Standpipe ($1.8M project, $1.3M funded by grants)
  • Rehabilitation of Chartrand, Perreault, Pattee and Eldemer Streets (Projects funded by grants for a total of $701,000)

Parks and Recreation

  • Tree planting and rubber surface repairs at Sacha's Park ($7,300)
  • Multiple repairs to L'Orignal Park and additions to the storage garage ($47,500)
  • Replacement of the backstop at Mill Street Park ($15,000)

Your municipal budget funds services and programs in diverse sectors such as roads, police department, fire services, social and family services, garbage and recycling collection, communication, community development, parks and recreation programs, snow clearing, planning, and economic development.