Bluewater Council approves 2023 budget

Bluewater MPs approved this year’s budget at the last council meeting.

Mayor Paul Klopp said the budget was never easy but this year was tougher than most.

“Our revenue was up 6.81%, but we also have some good investments in capital that we think will save operating costs in the long run,” Klopp explained.

Klopp said that included upgrading the lighting in their two arenas, buying some HVAC equipment, doing work on Main Street in Hensol, and the fact that they had to replace several culverts this year.

That means an annual tax increase of $77 in Bluewater and $75 in the county for a home appraised at $246,000. Klopp added that they had not withdrawn any money from the reserve fund but did reduce the amount they wished to put into it.

“We were going to put in about $98,000, but when we checked line by line, we decided not to add $98,000. I think we added about $40,000 to the reserve,” Klopp said

Klopp said it was still important to build up their reserves, but in order to keep growth below 7 per cent they had to reduce the amount they initially wanted to put into reserves.

Klopp said that since the pandemic, and in the current economic climate, municipalities have recognized a significant increase in contracting services, materials, and overall bidding and RFP costs for projects. Some of those costs were offset by royalties, grants, license fees and other miscellaneous income, he said. But he said additional budgetary challenges come from the implementation of Proposition 23, the Build More Homes Faster Act of 2022, which is changing the way development fees are collected.

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