Article & image by Valerie Macdonald
Hamilton Township residents have received their last municipal budget from Mayor Mark Lovshin. After passing a 2.46% increase in the tax levy over last year’s, Lovshin told the Now News Network he doesn’t plan to seek another municipal council term.
“I’m not running again,” he said.
2018 will be both Lovshin’s 18th year in lower-tier politics during which time he will also occupy the position of Northumberland County’s warden having been acclaimed to the position earlier this month.
During a post-council interview, Hamilton Township Deputy Mayor Gary Woods said that he, too, would not seek municipal office again.
This leaves the top two positions on township council open in the upcoming November, 2018 election.
The final 2017 Hamilton Township council session saw some discussion but no change in the presented budget for 2018 of about $10-million, 7.759-million of which is raised through the levy, township treasurer Paul Dowber said.
The 2018 budget is the latest in four years of budget increases at about the cost of living, he added.
The increase on an average township home valued at $285,000 will see a raise of about $25 to $30. County council tax ratio has yet to be set but, generally, that does not alter year-to-year.
The Provincial Government directs tax ratio changes. This year, county councillors are considering changing the industrial rate according to Mr. Dowber.
Northumberland County has not yet set its own budget, which is expected to take place next month.
Another unknown on the final total residents will have to pay in township taxes is the school tax rate which has not yet been announced by the Provincial Government.
Among the highlights of the 2018 Hamilton Township budget is a commitment to support the Northumberland Hospice building project on Ontario Street by Community Care to the tune of $130,000 over five years. The bulk of this financial commitment, about $94,000, comes from a township reserve account created when Cobourg annexed an area on its east end from Hamilton Township about 25 years ago, the mayor said.
As well, two fire rescue vehicles over twenty years old — a pumper and a loader — will be replaced and Bewdley Arena’s 12-year-old ice pad resurfaced.