COTTAGE COUNTRY, ON – The amount of snow so far this winter has the town projecting going over its removal budget, but it won’t affect taxes.

Stephan Rettie, the Director of Finance with Bracebridge, spoke with the MYMuskokaNOW.com  newsroom. He said the town budgeted $780,000 for snow removal, sanding and salting for the winter. Rettie added the town is likely going to go over that budget but it has a backup.

“We have a pretty significant operating reserve,” Rettie said. “It is approximately $800,000 so it is entirely sufficient to cover any sort of overages for multiple years.”

Rettie added the reserve is a way of keeping the tax rate stable. He said whenever the town goes under budget they add the excess to the reserve for these types of winters.

“If you try to budget year to year, you’d have peaks and valleys all over the place,” Rettie said. “So what we do is budget on a four-year rolling average.”

Rettie added 2019 is has been a rough one for the reserve. He said the end of last winter forced the town to dip into the reserve, so he hopes the next few winters can stock the reserve back up.