At Champlain Township’s second budget meeting, councillors agreed to a 4.7 per cent residential tax increase. That means that for an average home, valued at $200,000, annual taxes will increase by $55.78 for the municipal portion. With the counties three per cent increase tentatively factored in at an additional $24.44, with no increase for school taxes, the total increase would be $80.22 in 2020. Overall, estimated tax increases should be about 4.3 per cent across all of the tax categories.

While there are still a few calculations to be made, about 5.62 per cent more in property taxes will be collected from Champlain ratepayers in 2020.

A few changes were introduced to the 2020 budget since council’s deliberations last week. An amount of $1,500 has been added as revenue as the result of council approving the purchase of a new truck and roller for the road department. A $62,700 transfer to the road department reserve will take place in 2020. Because council approved the purchase of a float trailer and the roller packer, the road department equipment rentals will be reduced by $16,800.

A new  SUV was approved for the building department, but $1,000 less for vehicle repairs has been reflected in the building department budget.

For Parks and Recreation, contracted services in the amount of $2,700 was moved to the 2019 fiscal year instead of being placed in 2020. Since council approved the purchase of a new tractor, the department will reduce some of its expenditures by $7,360 (part-time salaries, benefits, tree removal/planting and park signs).

Council reduced its convention costs and expenses by $6,000, from $18,000 to $12,000 in 2020.

Council decided to pay for the the new rescue truck from fire reserves, thereby reducing the debt charge to $13,477, instead of $27,351. The debt payments budgeted for the rescue vehicle will be contributed to the fire reserve, meaning that an original $20,000 contribution to reserves has been increased to $33,000.

An additional $7,000 has been added to the Champlain Library budget to pay for a second engineering study. A study conducted in 2019 pointed to about half a million dollars in work needed on the library building located at 94 Main Street East in Vankleek Hill. The study has not been made public, nor has there been any motion of the work suggested by the first study.

Community grants have been set at  $26,464. The following organizations will receive funds from Champlain Township in 2020.

Vankleek Hill Sunshine Euchre Club: $150

Vankleek Hill Skating Club: $750

Ski-Vent-Clic: $1,000

Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre: $700

Vankleek Hill Curling Club: $500

Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society: $4,000

Vankleek Hill and District Horticultural Society: $4,000

Higginson Tower Committee: $4,000

Porchfest Vankleek Hill: $700

Banque Alimentaire de L’Orignal: $1,000

Ancienne Prison de L’Orignal Old Jail: $5,000

Patrimoine L’Orignal-Longueuil Heritage (PLLH): $2,115

Vankleek Hill Sports Club: $900

Eastern Prescott Russell Minor Hockey Association: $999

Vankleek Hill Fiddle and Dance Association: $300

Seniors Christmas Gala: $350.

Community Facility usage grants were also outlined at the budget meeting; the total for this category is $10,597.

The following organizations will receive assistance in reduced or free rates for community facility usage:

Canadian Cancer Society Russell Gauley Breakfast: $1215

Vankleek Hill and District Horticultural Society: $1426

Services communautaire de Prescott et Russell: $2453

Club des ainés Inc. $1326

Eastern Prescott Russell Minor Hockey Association: $205

Breakfast with Santa: $325

Vankleek Hill Fiddle & Dance Association: $1215

Seniors Christmas Gala: $285

Vankleek Hill Sports Club: $1,800

Paroisse St-Jean Baptiste: $121

Club du Réveil, Vankleek Hill: $227.