Port taxes going up, up, up

  • Apr. 30, 2003 2:00 p.m.

Port Clements has prepared a draft five-year financial plan that calls for a 53-percent increase in property taxes between now and 2007.
Property taxes are set to rise 12 percent this year, after many years at the same level. According to the draft budget/financial plan, Port residents will pay a total of $115,000 in property taxes this year, up from $103,000 in 2002. By 2007, the total amount to be raised through property taxes is set at $176,000.
Port residents will pay a further $91,000 in sewer and water frontage taxes this year, as well as $68,000 in sewer and water user fees. The frontage tax amount is projected to fall to $71,000 in future years, while the user fees are set to remain the same.
Capital projects planned for this year include $168,000 for an upgrade of the Industrial Park road, $22,000 for new washrooms at the community park, $28,000 for the continuing renovation of the St. Mark’s church building, and $72,000 for an environmental upgrade for the sewer system. Council also spent $3,000 to buy a white raven statue which now stands in the village office.
Councillor Gerry Johnson said the village receives grants for most of its capital projects. Projects planned for future years – such as a sewer extension to the rural subdivision and a new water treatment plant – depend on grants being approved.
Property taxes are going up because the village has to do a lot of maintenance work, Mr. Johnson said.
“There’s a lot of stuff to be done that we’ve been holding off on,” he said. “A lot of work is going into grounds this year, like refurbishing the ball diamond and the soccer pitch.”
The village will also be fixing up the tennis courts and the playground at the community park, Mr. Johnson said.
As for maintenance on the Sunset trail and campground, Mr. Johnson said not much is required because the facilities were just built last year. Any work that’s needed will be covered by the revenue brought in by campers, he said.
The draft five-year financial plan is available at the village office (open Monday to Friday between 9 am and 1 pm). Port property owners and residents have until Monday (May 5) at 1 pm to make written comments about the plan. Council will read the comments, make changes, and approve a final financial plan sometime this month.