BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF –
The Township of Southgate hosted a public information meeting for residents to learn more about the proposed 2017 Budget on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the Hopeville Municipal Office, Council Chambers.
In order for a meaningful citizen engagement process, the Committee of the Whole at its February 8, 2017 meeting recommended to Council the approval of the Public Information Meeting on March 1, 2017. This was the Township’s opportunity to provide members of the community 2017 budget information and engage in detailed dialogue and discussions with staff on the proposed budgeting process and projects.
Citizen engagement in the budget planning process assists municipalities in becoming more transparent, accountable and open to the public. The meeting allowed staff to receive feedback from the public to help the Township become more efficient and effective in providing municipal service provisions and to allow the public the opportunity to see how the municipality manages and spends their tax dollars.
“We have encouraged all residents to attend the public information meeting to learn about how the Township is proposing to spend their tax dollars,” said Treasurer Liam Gott. “Staff were on-hand to present the proposed operating budget and to answer any questions residents had.”
The Public Information Meeting was hosted by staff and was intended to allow the public access and the opportunity to ask questions outside of the formal statutory process through Council or Committee meetings.
“The public engagement open house format is a key component of open and transparent government. It helps Township staff develop and deliver quality programs and services for Council to consider and approve for implementation,” said CAO Dave Milliner.
The proposed budget recommends a blended tax rate increase of 3.6 per cent, which is a combination of the Township, Grey County and the provincial education rate or approximately $0.43 per $1,000 of current value assessment. That translates into approximately $106 a year for the average Southgate home assessed at $246,036.00.
The final budget is to be presented to Council for approval on April 5, 2017.
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