A council meeting and a draft budget

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North Dundas Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on March 21 to discuss routine business, and for a special meeting on March 31 for a presentation of the Township’s draft budget.

As usual, the regular meeting on March 21 was jam packed with the type of business that most residents would find tedious. Of interest near the start of the meeting was a relatively lengthy presentation by Sandy Hart from Sevita International, pushing for the lifting of half load restrictions on a specific designated route year-round. The route would stretch from the Sevita International Export Facility on Sandy Row, east of South Mountain, down Pemberton Road, and north to Hogaboam Road, where the route would end at County Road 31. 

Mayor Fraser addressed the issue, pointing out that heavy loads do hurt the condition of local roads, and complaints from residents have been received. He also acknowledged that North Dundas is an agricultural community, meaning that compromise is necessary. In response to a question from Councillor Lennox, Sandy put forward his belief that a permit-based system would be best. Council deferred on the recommendation to keep half load restrictions until the details of a permit-based system can be fleshed out, as all members of Council agreed that this “third option” would be best. 

Ordinary matters related to the North Dundas drinking water and sanitary sewer systems were discussed, including the receipt of the annual report on the drinking water system for 2022. A collection of water allocations was extended, including allocations for the new Dundas Manor building expected to begin construction in August. Housekeeping items related to the new Lafleur Road water well were also discussed. 

Changes to waste management in the Township were discussed next. Provincial legislation dictates that by 2025 producers of packaging will be responsible for the costs and some logistics of recycling it, which will save the Township money. However, there are considerations that Council must take into account in the months ahead, some of which were broached at the meeting. The document presented to Council by Township staff also outlines options for the situation at the overfilled Boyne Road Landfill, with the recommended solution being an expansion of the facility. 

In a special meeting on March 31, Council heard a presentation on the draft budget for 2023. The details of the budget were fleshed out for Council and can be viewed by members of the public on the Township’s YouTube Channel. Key for most readers will be news on property tax rates. The proposed budget does include increases in both the Township’s rate of taxation, and the tax rate for the upper tier United Counties portion. The proposed increase is 5.43%, which means an additional $135.19 per year or $11.27 per month for the average household. 

Councillor Uhrig added a comment at the end of the presentation thanking staff for their hard work with the budget, and also rebuking so-called “social media warriors” who present “pipe dream projects” in various community groups. It is not clear to whom this comment was directed, but it seems likely that it was meant as a criticism of Stefan Kohut and dozens of North Dundas residents who wish to see more recreational amenities and affordable insurance for public events locally.  

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