Russell Township budget approved at last

total budget to see the township through 2013 is $18.6 million. This means a 2.81 per cent increase to the municipal tax levy of $235.029, instead of the 3.91 per cent that the previous draft budget proposed when council reviewed it last month and rejected it by a 3-2 registered vote.


EMBRUN | It is a few weeks later than they had planned on but mayor and councillors have at last given their nods of approval for Russell Township’s new budget. A little bit of give-and-take during a two-hour special discussion session early Monday evening ended with agreement on a bit more trimming to the 2013 budget proposal to make it acceptable to all members of council. Mayor Jean-Paul St. Pierre told council members at the start of the session that everyone needed to be willing to compromise a little bit if there was any hope to get a final budget approved for the township by the end of the evening. “We need to reach an agreement or consensus on where we go from here,” said Mayor St. Pierre. “We owe it to our residents to come up with a budget we can all live with.” The water and sewer rates and works plan for the budget was set aside for further discussion in February. At present, the budget report calls for a combined 7.2 percent increase in the water and sewer service rates system to compensate for the City of Ottawa’s own seven-per cent increase in its water supply system arrangement with satellite communities like Russell Township. The main portion of the 2013 budget for the township calls for a daily operations allocation of $13,520,493 and a capital works portion of $5,140,691. The combined

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While the municipal tax levy for 2013 will increase 2.81 per cent compared to the 2012 budget tax levy, the revenue-neutral approach to budget development for the township means a reduction in the actual average property tax rate of 1.94 per cent. More specific details on how that works are available from the finance department. Final property tax figures will vary depending on the assessed value of homes, businesses, and other properties when the tax bills go out in the mail. Those property tax notices will also include the tax assessments that the municipality has to collect for the counties, school districts, and South Nation Conservation Authority. of the regular council session. The open question session was removed during a previous change in the procedural bylaw but the more specific question period for items and issues raised during the regular council session was retained. Laurin’s proposal was defeated. Mayor St-Pierre noted that anyone who wants to contact him or other councillors about any concerns and issues can always phone or email or make an appointment to stop in at themunicipal office during normal business hours or apply to make a presentation as an official delegation at the start of the regular council session.

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EMBRUN | Russell Township’s mayor and councillors will be reporting for duty at the council table a bit earlier in future. Council has approved a change in its procedural bylaw that will have the regular meetings of council starting at 5 p.m., instead of 7 p.m. The regular council sessions take place every third Monday of the month. Coun. Jamie Laurin was the sole vote against changing the starting time for the regular sessions. He expressed concern that it would create problems for local residents and othermembers of the publicwhomight want to either attend the regular session or make a presentation but would not be able to get the time off work or otherwise adjust their regular schedules. Mayor Jean-Paul St-Pierre disagreed that the change in starting time would inconvenience the public. He noted that the regular meetings are now broadcast live by webcast, allowing residents to watch it online in the comfort of their own homes or elsewhere. The committee of the whole session of council, which takes place the first Monday of themonth, already has a 5 p.m. start time. Laurin also proposed restoring the general open question period at the end 70% Off Moose Creek Mall

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