Media Release: Town Council Meeting Summary (March 14, 2018)

March 14, 2018 – Council Meeting Summary

For Immediate Release:  March 15, 2018

At the regular Stratford Town Council Meeting on March 14, 2018, the Stratford Town Council passed resolutions to adopt the 2018 Town operating and capital budgets and the 2018 Utility operating and capital budgets.  Before Council passed the 2018 budgets, Deputy Mayor Randy Cooper, the Chair of the Finance and Technology Committee, gave a detailed presentation on the budgets. Under the new Municipal Government Act, municipalities are required to change their fiscal year end from December 31st to March 31st in order to coincide with the year ends of both the provincial and federal governments. With this change, the current budget is for a 15 month fiscal period.

The following are some of the highlights from the budget presentation:

  • In the 2018 Town budget, we are forecasting revenue of $6,641,900 and expenses of $6,633,700, with a resulting surplus of $8,200. The majority of the Town’s revenue, more than 4.7 million dollars, is from property tax as well as the Municipal Support Grant which is about 1.3 million dollars.
  • Stratford has approved a balanced budget with no increase to municipal tax rates which will remain at $.44 per $100 of assessment for residential properties and $.99 per $100 of assessment for commercial properties. Our municipal tax rate remains the lowest of fully serviced municipalities in PEI.
  • The capital budget includes 5 million dollars to replace the existing firehall and RCMP office which is outdated and needs to be removed to make way for the new roundabout that the province is constructing beginning in August of this year. The new emergency services facility will include additional space for Cross Roads Fire Department to meet the growing needs of Stratford and the surrounding area they serve, a larger space for the RCMP so they can conduct interviews and perform breathalyzer and identification checks in Stratford and will also include space for Island EMS. A full time RCMP civilian clerk will be hired once the new space is available, anticipated for January 2019, which enables residents to access services such as criminal record checks locally.
  • Construction of the new pumping station and associated delivery system (forcemain pipe) to Charlottetown will begin in June of this year with the majority of the work to be completed by March 2019. Included in the capital budget is $10,920,000 for construction of the delivery system required to pump our sewer to the Charlottetown plant. Funding of 50% from the federal government and 25% from the province enabled this project to proceed.
  • Stratford Council has approved an increase of 1.8% in the Single Family Dwelling water rate. Sewer rate increases are being phased in over three years and are currently entering the second phase of the three year rate increase plan. This increase is to help pay for the pumping station and delivery system.

The following rate increases will be in effect as of July 2018:

  • The water for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $72.25 to $73.55 per quarter;
  • The sewer for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $95.00 to $108.00 per quarter;
  • The consumption charge for metered water will go from $0.8526 to $0.8679 per cubic meter; and
  • The consumption charge for metered sewer will go from $1.1210 to $1.2744 per cubic meter.
  • Council approved an allowance of $10,000 to develop an on demand service to the transit system for residents who live in areas of the Town that are not presently serviced by a bus stop to be implemented in the latter part of 2018. There is also funding for the purchase of buses for the transit fleet as part of an ongoing replacement of the existing fleet.
  • Stratford will continue its’ investment in the active transportation network with a few trail sections being considered for asphalt resurfacing to improve the durability and usability of our important trail system. An additional section of sidewalk on the Georgetown Road connecting to Upper Tea Hill Crescent is planned as well as several crosswalk landing areas.
  • Renovations and repairs at MacNeill Ballfield will total almost $100,000
  • A $9,000 request from the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group for water monitoring equipment which will allow them to assess and plan for the future rehabilitation of the Pondside water system.
  • Another phase of Fullerton’s Creek Conservation Park development
  • The Town will invest in a web portal module that will allow customers to access their utility and recreation accounts and pay their bill online, as well as to allow the Town to switch to electronic billing. The purchase of integrated software will encompass all Town of Stratford departments once implemented.

 

A copy of the budget document, containing more detailed information, is attached.

 

Other Business:

1st Reading Amendment to Water and Sewer Customer Service Regulations Bylaw

Council approved 1st reading of an amendment to the Water and Sewer Customer Service Regulations Bylaw (Bylaw #21) which will allow for a universal water metering program and include a penalty for parties who refuse to install a water meter. An information letter is going out to residents next week on the upcoming program and a public meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5th at Stratford Town Centre.

GIS (Geographic Information System) Application

Council approved  a joint application by the City of Summerside and Towns of Stratford, Cornwall, Montague, Kensington, to the Gas Tax Municipal Strategic Component Fund in the amount of $200,500, with each municipality responsible for its’ share of half the cost ($100,250), of which the Town of Stratford’s share is $28,423.

Municipal Government Act Bylaws

The new Municipal Government Act requires a number of bylaws be created over the coming months. Last evening Council approved 1st reading of a Tax Rate Group Bylaw (Bylaw 37) which is required to enable the application of different tax rates for different properties (ie: commercial vs. non-commercial rates).  Council also approved 1st reading of a Borrowing Bylaw (Bylaw #40) which is required to enable short and long term borrowing by the Town of Stratford.

English School Board Lease Loan Approved

A resolutionwas aproved to award a loan for the remaining 5 years of the lease agreement between the Town of Stratford and English School Board. TD Bank was the recipient of the loan providing the best rate at 2.98% after proposals were received from a total of 5 financial institutions.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment – Pan American Properties Inc.

Second reading and adoption of a  zoning bylaw amendment, as modified by Council, to rezone a portion of parcel number 327973 from the Waterfront Mixed Use Zone (WMU) to the Waterfront Residential Zone (WR), and to rezone a portion from the Waterfront Public Space Zone (WPS) to the Waterfront Residential Zone (WR) was approved. This follows 1st reading which took place at a special Town Council Meeting held on February 28, 2018. Pan American Properties Inc. now have the ability to apply for a permit to construct their proposed apartment building.

Subdivision Lot – Michael Thomas Way

Council granted preliminary subdivision approval to an application (SD016-2017) from Pan American Properties to subdivide 1 lot (Lot E, approx. 1.21 acres) from parcel number 327973 (approx. 7.6 acres) located on the Southport Motel property along the extension of Michael Thomas Way.

Proclamation – Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness


Mayor David Dunphy proclaimed that March 26th will be Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness in the Town of Stratford. Council members and staff supported this initiative by wearing purple ribbons in support of the cause at last evenings meeting.

 

 

 

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For more information please contact:

Wendy Watts, Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (902) 569-6921
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

Media Release: Town Council Meeting Summary (March 14, 2018)

March 14, 2018 – Council Meeting Summary

For Immediate Release:  March 15, 2018

At the regular Stratford Town Council Meeting on March 14, 2018, the Stratford Town Council passed resolutions to adopt the 2018 Town operating and capital budgets and the 2018 Utility operating and capital budgets.  Before Council passed the 2018 budgets, Deputy Mayor Randy Cooper, the Chair of the Finance and Technology Committee, gave a detailed presentation on the budgets. Under the new Municipal Government Act, municipalities are required to change their fiscal year end from December 31st to March 31st in order to coincide with the year ends of both the provincial and federal governments. With this change, the current budget is for a 15 month fiscal period.

The following are some of the highlights from the budget presentation:

  • In the 2018 Town budget, we are forecasting revenue of $6,641,900 and expenses of $6,633,700, with a resulting surplus of $8,200. The majority of the Town’s revenue, more than 4.7 million dollars, is from property tax as well as the Municipal Support Grant which is about 1.3 million dollars.
  • Stratford has approved a balanced budget with no increase to municipal tax rates which will remain at $.44 per $100 of assessment for residential properties and $.99 per $100 of assessment for commercial properties. Our municipal tax rate remains the lowest of fully serviced municipalities in PEI.
  • The capital budget includes 5 million dollars to replace the existing firehall and RCMP office which is outdated and needs to be removed to make way for the new roundabout that the province is constructing beginning in August of this year. The new emergency services facility will include additional space for Cross Roads Fire Department to meet the growing needs of Stratford and the surrounding area they serve, a larger space for the RCMP so they can conduct interviews and perform breathalyzer and identification checks in Stratford and will also include space for Island EMS. A full time RCMP civilian clerk will be hired once the new space is available, anticipated for January 2019, which enables residents to access services such as criminal record checks locally.
  • Construction of the new pumping station and associated delivery system (forcemain pipe) to Charlottetown will begin in June of this year with the majority of the work to be completed by March 2019. Included in the capital budget is $10,920,000 for construction of the delivery system required to pump our sewer to the Charlottetown plant. Funding of 50% from the federal government and 25% from the province enabled this project to proceed.
  • Stratford Council has approved an increase of 1.8% in the Single Family Dwelling water rate. Sewer rate increases are being phased in over three years and are currently entering the second phase of the three year rate increase plan. This increase is to help pay for the pumping station and delivery system.

The following rate increases will be in effect as of July 2018:

  • The water for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $72.25 to $73.55 per quarter;
  • The sewer for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $95.00 to $108.00 per quarter;
  • The consumption charge for metered water will go from $0.8526 to $0.8679 per cubic meter; and
  • The consumption charge for metered sewer will go from $1.1210 to $1.2744 per cubic meter.
  • Council approved an allowance of $10,000 to develop an on demand service to the transit system for residents who live in areas of the Town that are not presently serviced by a bus stop to be implemented in the latter part of 2018. There is also funding for the purchase of buses for the transit fleet as part of an ongoing replacement of the existing fleet.
  • Stratford will continue its’ investment in the active transportation network with a few trail sections being considered for asphalt resurfacing to improve the durability and usability of our important trail system. An additional section of sidewalk on the Georgetown Road connecting to Upper Tea Hill Crescent is planned as well as several crosswalk landing areas.
  • Renovations and repairs at MacNeill Ballfield will total almost $100,000
  • A $9,000 request from the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group for water monitoring equipment which will allow them to assess and plan for the future rehabilitation of the Pondside water system.
  • Another phase of Fullerton’s Creek Conservation Park development
  • The Town will invest in a web portal module that will allow customers to access their utility and recreation accounts and pay their bill online, as well as to allow the Town to switch to electronic billing. The purchase of integrated software will encompass all Town of Stratford departments once implemented.

 

A copy of the budget document, containing more detailed information, is attached.

 

Other Business:

1st Reading Amendment to Water and Sewer Customer Service Regulations Bylaw

Council approved 1st reading of an amendment to the Water and Sewer Customer Service Regulations Bylaw (Bylaw #21) which will allow for a universal water metering program and include a penalty for parties who refuse to install a water meter. An information letter is going out to residents next week on the upcoming program and a public meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5th at Stratford Town Centre.

GIS (Geographic Information System) Application

Council approved  a joint application by the City of Summerside and Towns of Stratford, Cornwall, Montague, Kensington, to the Gas Tax Municipal Strategic Component Fund in the amount of $200,500, with each municipality responsible for its’ share of half the cost ($100,250), of which the Town of Stratford’s share is $28,423.

Municipal Government Act Bylaws

The new Municipal Government Act requires a number of bylaws be created over the coming months. Last evening Council approved 1st reading of a Tax Rate Group Bylaw (Bylaw 37) which is required to enable the application of different tax rates for different properties (ie: commercial vs. non-commercial rates).  Council also approved 1st reading of a Borrowing Bylaw (Bylaw #40) which is required to enable short and long term borrowing by the Town of Stratford.

English School Board Lease Loan Approved

A resolutionwas aproved to award a loan for the remaining 5 years of the lease agreement between the Town of Stratford and English School Board. TD Bank was the recipient of the loan providing the best rate at 2.98% after proposals were received from a total of 5 financial institutions.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment – Pan American Properties Inc.

Second reading and adoption of a  zoning bylaw amendment, as modified by Council, to rezone a portion of parcel number 327973 from the Waterfront Mixed Use Zone (WMU) to the Waterfront Residential Zone (WR), and to rezone a portion from the Waterfront Public Space Zone (WPS) to the Waterfront Residential Zone (WR) was approved. This follows 1st reading which took place at a special Town Council Meeting held on February 28, 2018. Pan American Properties Inc. now have the ability to apply for a permit to construct their proposed apartment building.

Subdivision Lot – Michael Thomas Way

Council granted preliminary subdivision approval to an application (SD016-2017) from Pan American Properties to subdivide 1 lot (Lot E, approx. 1.21 acres) from parcel number 327973 (approx. 7.6 acres) located on the Southport Motel property along the extension of Michael Thomas Way.

Proclamation – Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness


Mayor David Dunphy proclaimed that March 26th will be Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness in the Town of Stratford. Council members and staff supported this initiative by wearing purple ribbons in support of the cause at last evenings meeting.

 

 

 

-30-

For more information please contact:

Wendy Watts, Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (902) 569-6921
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

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