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Inflation having big impact on Mapleton budget

Inflationary pressures include cost of living wage increases, insurance, fuel, telecoms and IT services
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Township of Mapleton office on Side Road 16.

MAPLETON – Municipal budgets for 2023 aren’t being spared from the impacts of high inflation and the pressure is on for Mapleton to address that, says the township’s director of finance. 

Mapleton council had its first look at the 2023 draft budget Tuesday afternoon in a presentation by John Morrison, director of finance. 

The draft budget has the residential tax rate rising by 3.89 per cent which works out to an additional $18.41 per $100,000 of assessed value. 

The good news John Morrison had for them was the township’s assessment growth was nearly three per cent, the second highest in the county, which has lessened the tax rate increase in the face of inflation. 

However, that inflation is presenting serious pressures in the budget.

“This budget is simply trying to address that, not looking ahead but simply being retroactive to inflationary points we are facing right now,” Morrison said. 

Council heard from Morrison that based on HR policy, staff will be getting a seven per cent cost of living adjustment (COLA) pay increase which will work out to an additional $150,000. 

Insurance is up 33 per cent or about $90,000, fuel and telecoms are up five per cent each, operation supplies are up 16.8 per cent, contractual services are up 24 per cent and IT services are up 18 per cent. 

The township had been using a $1 million surplus from 2019 as a tax rate stabilizer but Morrison said this could not be used this year. 

Although this was a high level overview, Coun. Michael Martin said he didn’t believe anybody predicted a seven per cent increase when the COLA policy was created. 

He asked if there were any potential mitigation measures as he didn’t believe this increase would sit well politically or with the public. 

Morrison said council could direct staff to use the tax rate stabilization fund, have the CAO look at staffing requirements, or “give us another number if you don’t want to go with the policy.” 

Mapleton mayor Gregg Davidson said council will have a meeting in the future to take a deep look into the budget and there will be a public open house in the future before ratifying the 2023 budget.

Council accepted the presentation as information. 

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Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for EloraFergusToday, covering Wellington County. Keegan has been working with Village Media for more than two years and helped launch EloraFergusToday in 2021.
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