Severn sets budget, with less than 2.5 per cent hike

Severn Township (Custom)

Severn Township property owners will see a bit of a hike on the municipal portion of their property tax bills.

Severn Township Council approved the 2012 budget this week, which included a tax rate increase of 2.45 per cent. This means the owners of an average single-family home in Severn will pay approximately $69 more in their 2021 property tax bill.

The budget includes the funding the township needs to maintain current service at the municipal level, and support for partners like the Severn Township Public Library, Orillia & Lake Country Tourism, Severn Sound Environmental Association, Ontario Provincial Polic and County of Simcoe .

The 2021 capital budget includes significant reinvestment into core infrastructure that supports the community. As part of Council’s Strategic Plan to invest in the services residents depend on, the budget allocates over $4 million in road renewal that will replace 14 kilometres of the road network. Below the ground, over $1.28 million will be invested into water and wastewater utilities, with over $800,000 earmarked for the continued production of safe drinking water.

Township of Severn will also invest in outdoor recreation facilities with support of federal and provincial grants for new universal washrooms in parks and a new outdoor sports field. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of safe outdoor spaces and the benefits of physical activity on both physical and mental health. This upgraded infrastructure will make it easier for park users to stay active, experience the outdoors, and relax and unwind in Severn.

“We understand that our residents may be struggling through the financial impacts of COVID-19. Council believes that drawing from capital reserves to avoid a tax increase is not a responsible way to protect municipal infrastructure, now and in the future, requiring us to make the difficult decision of imposing a modest tax increase,” said Mayor Mike Burkett.

While this budget provides for many hard infrastructure projects, it also looks to enhance the efficiency of local government through modernization of the Township’s financial systems and improved communications with residents. As the global pandemic continues, it has never been more important to improve the Township’s ability to provide online services that will make the community and organization more future-ready.

All final budget documents will be available at townshipofsevern.com for more information.

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