Following the discussions on Thursday night, Brighton residents are currently looking at a 2.59 per cent tax increase following council’s second draft budget.
That works out to a $79.36 increase per $250,000 on an average assessment according to Linda Widdifield, the Director of Finance.
The big topic of the night was roads and what projects are to be taken on this year.
CAO Bill Watson says further discussions aren’t a bad thing.
Some of council wanted Marina, Walas, Queen and Prince Streets to see asphalt reconstruction while others wanted Platt, Sanford, Monck, Russel and Napier Streets to be fixed.
Council wants a report from staff as to what the water and sewer infrastructure ages are of the roads on this year’s to-do list and what the costs associated with those replacements would be before they make any firm decisions.
Councillor John Martinello said knowing the water and waste water costs is important as it will jump the cost significantly over the estimates provided to council by staff.
Councillor Mary Tadman said it makes no sense to put a nice road down just to rip it up and replace the infrastructure underneath a few years later.
The roads discussion was deferred until the third draft budget meeting.
Council did approve the survey and design of Lakeshore and Huff Roads at a cost of $15,500 as well as a survey and design of Lakehurst Street at a cost of $3,500. They also approved the work on Lakehurst Street at an approximate cost of $40,000.
Other approvals included: $75,000 for the next two years for the Interim Control Bylaw Implementation and a contribution of $10,000 per year for the next five years for an Emergency Response Reserve Fund.
The Mac’s property at the corner of Elizabeth and Prince Edward Streets was also discussed and council elected to not re-zone the property or purchase it.
This was another issue that divided council as Councillor Steven Baker said they should revisit it next year as it’s in the town’s best interest to control the destiny of the downtown.
Councillor Laura Vink said it would be great to purchase the property, but the price is a bit high (the asking cost is $399,000) and there are a lot of unknowns.
The property has also been identified as a brownfield site.
CAO Watson says they are making progress and a final budget shouldn’t be too far away.
A date for the third budget meeting has not yet been set.