Council Approves 2024 Municipal Budget

At the Monday, January 8, 2024, meeting, Council approved the 2024 Operating & Capital budgets focusing on maintaining current service levels, addressing growth pressures, and facing increasing costs. The 2024 operating budget is comprised of $71.3 million in operating expenses and $71.1 million in capital expenses.

Inflation is running at all-time highs. The current Consumer Price Index (CPI) is at 3.3% and was over 6.0% in 2022, which equates to nearly 10% over the last two years. Additionally, the Building Construction Price index was 6.6% for the 3rd Quarter of 2023 and 15.6% in 2022, which equates to over 22% in the last two years.

Collingwood residents will see a 1.67% or $40.71 per year increase for the median assessed Collingwood household, for municipal operating expenses and capital investments. For this year, a blended rate of 1.95% (Municipal, County and School Board) $75.66/year, pending the School Board’s proposed 0% tax rate increase.

Highlights of the 2024 Municipal Budget:

  • Affordable Housing – Council has prioritized affordable housing by continuing with a $350,000 investment to move forward with actioning the recommendations in the Affordable Housing Master Plan. 
  • Community Spaces – Council continues to support investment in Community Spaces:  Art Centre Feasibility Study ($100,000); investments into the Eddie Bush Arena, Central Park Arena, and the Outdoor Rink ($575,000); Three new parks  (Wilson Sheffield, den Bok Family Park (in Summit View) and the Ste. Marie St. Public Realm Space ($4.6M); Old Village Park washroom / storage facility (beside the Legion)  $450,000); Hens and Chickens Trail Bridge Replacement  ($475,000); Tree canopy investments ($260,000); Collaborative Feasibility Study with Town of Blue Mountains to move toward a Multi-Use Recreation Facility ($125,000). 
  • Terminals Point Project – Council continues to support moving forward with the Revitalization of the Grain Terminals and the surrounding lands ($500,000).
  • Keeping our Assets in Good Condition – Council recognizes the value in investing in our fundamental Town needs, including the renewal of our core assets like roads and bridges by supporting the Asset Management Plan ($3.3M).
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant rehabilitation work – As part of the Town’s Asset Management Plan (AMP) to continue providing effective Wastewater Treatment, the town will invest in: Digester repairs, Boiler replacement and Screw Pump Rehabilitation ($7.5M). These projects form part of a 10-year work plan.
  • Road works and Rehabilitation Projects – Council is aware of the interest from residents in Collingwood’s roads, so are prioritizing several major investments in road works and rehabilitation projects in 2024: Asphalt resurfacing projects of nearly 7KMs of road ($2M); Second Street Bridge Rehabilitation ($1.5M).
  • Transportation Master Plan – The Town is initiating a Transportation Master Plan (TMP) to enhance our existing transportation network. The TMP will provide the long-range planning necessary to identify needs, establish priorities between vehicles, active transportation (e.g., cycling, trails) and transit, and provide a planning framework for future infrastructure improvements and network development ($463,000).

“I know how difficult times are for some residents, with the rising costs of inflation, housing and general costs of living. With that top-of-mind, Council felt that keeping the tax rate as low as possible for 2024 while maintaining service levels and investment in our assets, was in the best interest of our residents. With a back-to-basics approach, this program-based budget concentrates on delivering quality programs and services Collingwood needs and deserves.”

Mayor Yvonne Hamlin

Council and Staff thank all residents and stakeholders who took part in public meetings and provided feedback through the budget review process. The Budget is one of the most important matters your elected Council will decide each year, and your input is paramount to ensuring Council is aware of what is most important to residents and property owners in how their tax dollars are spent.

“The focus for 2024 is to continue to strive towards the goals and objectives that align with the over-arching Community Based Strategic Plan, Continuous Improvements and Departmental Master Plans,” notes Treasurer Monica Quinlan. “Our goal is to ensure we plan for our community’s future in a fiscally responsible way, including investing in our assets that is cost effective for taxpayers.”

Public Engagement

The Town launched public engagement for the 2024 Budget on Engage.Collingwood.ca in July 2023, followed by a booth at the Farmer’s Market July 19th and September 16th. Staff presented a Budget Guidelines and Preliminary Environmental Scan September 25th. Residents were invited to attend and/or provide input at any of the 5 public Council/Committee meetings held with the first drafts of the budget as well as to attend Coffee with Council presentation and informal chat and new this year ‘Let’s Talk Budget – Munch & Mingle session.’ 

To learn more about the Budget Process and view financial information for the Town, please visit www.collingwood.ca/budget

To learn about engagement opportunities for the 2025 Budget Process which will launch mid-2024, please subscribe to the Town’s News & Notices at: www.collingwood.ca/stay-connected

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