Mayor Dave Augustyn’s Column Week of 27 February 2017
Council recently approved the Town’s 2017 Operating Budget. The new budget translates into an
increase of approximately 4.7% (or $69.60) on the Pelham portion of your property tax bill for the
average residential property (assessed at $316,400).
Since Pelham’s portion of your property taxes represents roughly 38% of your overall residential tax, we
anticipate that the Town will receive $1,558 of the $4,132 for the average residential property tax bill;
the Niagara Region will receive 48% of the total amount and the Province (to fund education) the
In preparing the operating budget, Council directed Staff to review all expenditures against customer
service needs and the Town’s strategic plan.
First, we included an additional $197,827 for a “Sustainability Increase.” As you have noticed through the
years, instead of cutting like other Cities / Towns, we continue to improve and maintain the Town’s
infrastructure. We do this by increasing the amount we transfer to capital reserves. Thus, 1.8% of the
4.7% overall increase will help improve and sustain infrastructure. (This compares favourably to the 2.7%
we added 2016 to capital and the 1.8% extra in 2015.)
Second, we added funds for the Pelham Public Library to open additional hours in the renewed Maple
Acre branch. Council agreed with the Library Board and the broader community that the Library needed
to increase hours to meet the demand and to better use the new facility—which was officially opened on
Friday. The first month of operations showed a huge demand for the new facility over the former branch;
every time I was at the Library, it is busy and well used!
Third, after a very successful pilot program, Council agreed to continue offering Pelham Transit. The
ridership consistently increased during the Provincially-supported year-and-a-half pilot and many have
come to rely on the service. For example, students use the morning and afternoon service to get to and
from classes at Niagara College or Brock. Similarly, seniors from local retirement homes use the mid-day
service to travel directly to the Fonthill Library, the Shopper’s Plaza, or to the grocery store. In addition,
staff will work with Wainfleet and West Lincoln to potentially expand our transit service.
Finally, other increases include utility costs, staffing and benefit costs, and contracted services (like
sidewalk snow clearing) so we can maintain expected service levels.
As a result of these and other initiatives, Council approved a net budget increase of $518,544 on a
$11,791,264 net budget.
I will write more about your total property tax impact and compare with previous years after Regional
Council approves the 2017 rates and ratios later this spring.
For more information about Pelham’s Operating Budget, please check out
You may contact Mayor Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or read past columns and link to documents at