Gravenhurst Council has approved its 2021 Budget.

At Thursday’s special budget meeting, the budget was given the thumbs up, resulting in a 1.5% increase to the town’s share of the tax rate for next year.

Deliberations of the operating and capital budgets took place electronically over the course of three days beginning on Tuesday.

Mayor Paul Kelly says it has been a unique and challenging year. 

“I’d like to thank Budget Chair John Gordon for his leadership through this process,” Kelly said. “Council made some important decisions in this budget to navigate through uncharted waters during this pandemic. It also provided resources for a number of important community priorities and needs.”. 

The goal this year was to keep the 2021 Tax Rate increase under 1.5% and Council achieved this goal. 

However, this was not a “status-quo” budget by any means. 

In the 2021 Budget, Council approved resources to:

  • Implement the recommendations in the Wharf Revitalization Plan and the Tourism Destination Strategy approved by Council earlier this year;
  • Purchase a new aerial fire truck as a replacement for an ageing fire pumper vehicle in recognition of the current and emerging needs of the urban core;
  • Better manage and address increased by-law complaints in the community;
  • Fund scheduled fleet replacements in Public Works that will directly enhance service delivery in the community;
  • Conduct long-overdue repairs and renovations at the Historic Gravenhurst Opera House; 
  • Financially support the YMCA with its re-opening plans for the Centennial Centre Aquatic Centre and Gym.

The impact on the Town property tax bill would see an increase of $6.90 per $100,000 of assessment on the Town’s share of the Gravenhurst property tax bill. 

The median single-family residence will see a 1.3% increase on their 2021 Property Tax Bill for urban properties and a 0.8% increase for rural properties.

With an investment of approximately $8.7 million in Town assets, 48 capital projects will get underway in 2021.

These projects will be financed largely through capital reserves and internal borrowing.

“With the support of Council, I look forward to working with our professional staff to implement this budget in the new year,” Kelly said. We appreciate their on-going commitment to the delivery of high-quality programs, services and improvements for our community.”

Full details of the approved 2021 budget can be found on the town’s website.