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Niagara Falls
Monday, July 15, 2024
Town approves $10.2M for capital projects
Gary Zalepa chaired the meeting on budget discussions when the capital budget was approved. EVAN LOREE

The town has approved a $10.2-million capital budget for 2024.

The decision came at the end of two meetings held back to back at the Niagara-on-the-Lake town hall on Tuesday night. 

The $10.2-million price tag is 5.7 per cent higher, or $552,000 more, than that for capital projects in 2023, said a town news release.

“Effective capital planning is crucial for the growth and development of our community,” Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa said in a statement posted to the town’s website Wednesday evening.

Last year, the town approved about $9.6 million for capital projects.

The lion’s share of this year’s capital expenses is going to reconstruction of Concession 6, between Warner and York roads, and to a watermain replacement on Hunter Road.

That’s $1.9 million for the new road and $1.65 million for the watermain.

The town will also be spending $750,000 worth in culvert repairs along Dorchester Street using debt.

A town report said the debt would be paid off through taxes annually basis starting in 2025.

The $750,000 project represents a small tax increase of 0.21 per cent or $2.71 per resident annually, the report said.

Coun. Sandra O’Connor did not support the budget because she wanted assurances that money for the Dorchester Street project would be used to upgrade the infrastructure to modern standards which could withstand worsening flooding problems.

“It’s important we don’t fall behind in our infrastructure by delaying this another year,” Coun. Erwin Wiens said in response.

The next big ticket items in the capital budget are a $500,000 dump and plow truck, and $400,000 for parking machines, according to slides presented Tuesday night by town treasurer Kyle Freeborn.

Freeborn unveiled a draft of this year’s capital budget last September, which proposed almost $10.4 million in expenses,  down from an initial proposal of more than $14 million.

At a meeting in October, Freeborn presented preliminary options for an operating budget. 

The unapproved operating budget was estimated at almost $16 million, up from almost $15 million in 2023.

The operating budget is still being formulated, but has not been discussed publicly this year.

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