The Town of Gravenhurst’s draft 2024 budget is now available for review.
Residents can see the draft budget and learn more about the budget process on Engage Gravenhurst.
Councillor Erin Strength, budget chair, said public feedback is an incredibly important part of the draft budget process.
“We want to hear from people – it’s imperative that we understand what the priorities should be for our community,” she said.
Scott Lucas, chief administrative officer, said staff look forward to working with council and the public to ensure the 2024 budget properly meets the needs of the town.
“A budget is an important financial and work plan that allows us to move our community forward in a successful fashion,” he said.
About the draft operating budget
The draft operating budget for the town is $30.9-million.
The operating budget covers expenses related to service delivery to the community. These costs occur each year and include staff wages, insurance, and utilities, as well as other things such as maintenance costs.
Inflationary costs have influenced the draft operating budget, but staff have kept the budget within parameters established by council.
Increases in staffing have been contained with a focus on creating efficiencies throughout the organization.
The operating budget includes several projects that aim to improve service delivery and quality of life in the community. Project highlights are available for review in the budget document – see the departmental budgets.
There are various items for council consideration which could influence the draft operating budget. This includes any new directives from the strategic plan, items identified as not in the current budget, and any emerging items from public input.
Council will have the opportunity during the budget exercise to add or remove priorities.
About the draft capital budget
The draft capital budget is $9.9-million. The capital budget supports investments the town plans to make in infrastructure such as roads, parks, and facilities. Inflationary costs have hit the capital budget the hardest.
The draft capital budget, as well as the multi-year plan, reflect a mix of maintenance projects, replacement projects, and new initiatives.
The bulk of the capital program focuses on the following:
- Roads and bridges
- Stormwater drainage improvements
- Vehicle replacement
- Continued investment in the Gravenhurst Opera House, Centennial Centre, public library, and the Discovery Centre
- Washroom upgrades across the municipality
- New technology to enhance Human Resources, the Gravenhurst Fire Department, and Bylaw Services
- Structural repairs to the barge at Gull Lake Rotary Park, as well as other parks and trails investments
What does it all mean to taxpayers?
The proposed 2024 draft budget for the Town of Gravenhurst would result in a tax rate increase of 2.3 per cent.
For property owners, the draft budget, if approved, means an increase of $13.03 per $100,000 of assessment on the town share of the Gravenhurst property tax bill.
Based on the draft budget, residents should expect to see a 3.1 per cent increase on their 2024 property tax bill.
Important next steps and key dates
Wednesday, Nov. 29 – The draft budget will officially be presented to council at 1 p.m. in the Terry Fox Auditorium at the Centennial Centre.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting or watch online.
Starting at 2 p.m., members of the public will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about the draft budget.
Questions and comments about the budget can also be made through our budget page on Engage Gravenhurst or by e-mailing the town at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Budget deliberations begin in the Terry Fox Auditorium at the Centennial Centre, starting at 8:30 a.m.
The meeting will include a review of departmental operating budgets, as well as a review of the capital budget and multi-year plan.
At the meeting, council will consider approving the budget. If required, a second meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
The public is welcome to attend or watch online.
How to watch meetings online