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Voting day in Haldimand County is October 24, 2022. Individuals who wish to run in the 2022 municipal election will be able to file their nominations with the Municipal Clerk starting May 2.
Nomination forms may be filed in-person at the Haldimand County Administration Building (53 Thorburn St. S., Cayuga) during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from May 2, 2022 to August 18, 2022, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 19, 2022.
Haldimand County and staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be hosting a virtual Candidate Information Session for anyone interested in running as a candidate in the 2022 municipal or school board election.
The virtual session will take place on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome and pre-registration is not required. Connection details will be shared at www.haldimandcounty.ca/election/ closer to the session.
As there have been many changes enacted to the Municipal Elections Act in recent years, this session will benefit newcomers to the municipal election process, third party advertisers as well as those who have participated in past elections. Topics covered at the session will include:
On March 31, 2022, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget. The budget results in a total levy requirement of $76,221,100, which equates to a residential tax impact of 2.29%.
Generally, the annual Tax-Supported Operating Budget pays for day to day operations of the County, including salaries, wages, utilities, insurance and services such as running arenas/programming, maintaining locals parks and cemeteries, providing emergency services (fire, police and ambulance), the collection of garbage and related activities.
“Despite significant financial challenges related to economic factors beyond the county’s control, staff have worked hard to develop a budget that is aligned with Council’s priorities and mindful of the challenges our ratepayers are facing,” said Mark Merritt, General Manager of Financial & Data Services.
Major factors that influenced the 2022 Tax-Supporting Budget include external financial pressures (higher costs of materials, supply chain issues, increased inflation), as well as increases to costs associated with insurance, policing and contracted services (e.g. winter maintenance).
CAO Craig Manley noted that while the Operating Budget initially represented a 7% increase for ratepayers, staff conducted a rigorous review of controllable costs and only brought forward new initiatives that would negatively impact standards of service or health and safety if they were not included.
Manley also emphasized the positive impact of increased assessment from growth in 2021 – nearly $2.0 million or 2.73% – that has helped alleviate the tax burden and achieve the final recommended tax increase for 2022.
“The 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget represents a financially sustainable plan that responsibly manages taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars while addressing current and emergent needs of our growing community,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.
“Thanks to the continued hard work of staff, we have once again been able to meet the Council-approved tax increase target of 2% annually, a goal that was established in 2018 at the beginning of this Term,” Hewitt added.
Highlights of the 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget include:
introducing new, permanent staffing resources to address organizational needs, respond to growth and meet service levels expected by residents (including up-staffing paramedic services to address response time standards);
proceeding with the Council-approved reorganization of the IT division to prioritize the enhancement of public-facing services (i.e. on-line and self-serve tax information), increase efficiencies and strengthen cybersecurity;
funding the continuation of successful economic development, tourism & culture-focused activities, including the successful Paddle Art Tour Haldimand (PATH) and Haldimand County Geocache Tour;
maintaining the enhanced levels of portable washroom cleaning and facilities put in place at public parks when the pandemic started in support of tourism and increased community use, and;
increasing funding for the proper asset management of existing social housing stock in the County and to financially support a new affordable housing build in Dunnville – a priority set by Council for this term.
On average, a residential property owner can expect their annual property taxes to be allocated as follows:
Four in-person public consultations are scheduled for April 4 and 5 as Haldimand County continues developing its long-term Community & Recreation Facilities Strategy. The drop-in sessions are scheduled as follows:
Monday, April 4; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Cayuga Memorial Arena, McSorley Room Monday, April 4; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Caledonia LIONS Community Centre Tuesday, April 5; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Jarvis Lions Community Centre Tuesday, April 5; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre
All sessions will be hosted in keeping with pandemic-associated public health guidelines at that time.
“Haldimand County received 2,000 responses to the community survey about this initiative,” says Mayor Ken Hewitt, “which is likely the greatest response received to any public consultation we’ve done in recent years. This just confirms to Council the importance of this issue to residents and users of our community and recreation facilities and services.”
The Strategy — which focuses on facilities that support activities such as aquatics, sports, health, wellness, arts and culture — is being developed in consultation with Monteith Brown Planning Consultants of London, ON.
“Now that we’re able to host public engagement sessions again, we’re hoping residents who may not have had an opportunity to take the survey will come out to see what might be possible and share their thoughts,” adds Hewitt.
While the Strategy will be strongly informed by public input about recreation preferences, it will also include recommendations about financial feasibility of potential locations and types of facilities. This might include repurposing existing sites or facilities or entering into partnerships to address service and programming preferences and trends.
Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2022 Tax Supported Capital Budget on March 3, 2022. The Tax-Supported Capital Budget outlines $35 million of infrastructure investment in 2022, with a total tax-supported infrastructure investment of $310.4 million over the next 10 years. In total, 313 new tax-supported capital projects have been scheduled for the 2022 calendar year.
The 2022 Capital Budget is heavily focused on infrastructure renewal with notable expenditures in areas such as roadway improvements, bridge and culvert rehabilitation and enhancements to corporate, community and recreation facilities.
2022 Capital Budget Highlights:
$19 million towards roadway and active transportation improvements such as paving, road reconstruction, tar and chip resurfacing, gravel road conversion, sidewalk/curb replacements, street lighting as well as bridge/culvert rehabilitations, replacements and other structure-related projects (e.g. retaining walls)
$2.8 million towards accelerating the gravel road conversion program. All gravel roads will be converted to tar and chip by 2023 and the program will be completed in 2025 when the second coat of tar and chip is applied to the final road
$4 million towards fleet and equipment maintenance/replacements, including the purchase of multiple new emergency services and winter control vehicles
$3.8 million towards community partnership projects and enhancements to parks, trails, arenas, pools, museums and libraries
$855,000 towards tree conservation and reforestation initiatives
In recent years the County has deliberately increased its investment in capital to ensure that existing facilities are updated, new facilities desired by the community are added and that a funding plan is in place to minimize tax impacts. Money is set aside every year to ensure that when assets need repairs or replacing, funding is available.
“The 2022 Capital Budget balances current priorities with future needs and further positions Haldimand for growth. Through diligent asset management practices and financial planning principles, staff have developed a budget that ensures our strong financial position is maintained, and our residents and business owners continue to receive high quality programs and services,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.
“We, like many other municipalities, have faced significant financial pressures as a result of COVID-19, and I am proud of the capital program we have developed under challenging circumstances.”
Similar to past years, the capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase by about $725,500 or about 1% of the overall municipal levy. The total municipal levy for 2022 will be determined once the 2022 Tax Supported Operating Budget is approved by Council.
The 2022 Tax Supported Operating Budget will be presented to Council on the following dates:
• March 31 & April 1*, 2022 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Haldimand County Administration Building Council Chamber (*if required)
On January 13, 2022, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2022 Rate-Supported Capital and Operating Budget. Otherwise known as the Water & Wastewater Budget, it is an important strategic document that ensures reliable, safe, clean and affordable potable water is available to residents across the County. New water & wastewater rates take effect on February 1, 2022.
This Rate-Supported Budget deals exclusively with water and wastewater treatment initiatives and is funded directly by user rates (with no support from property taxes). With a focus on the following key principles – providing service capacity for anticipated growth, to ensure the systems are optimized and improved when required, and a focus on replacement/rehabilitation – the average residential, combined water & wastewater user will see a slight increase of about $1.73 (2.1%) on their average monthly bill.
Haldimand’s water & wastewater rates remain below the provincial average due to ongoing strategic planning efforts and diligent asset management practices. In the long-term, rates are expected to remain stable due to a comprehensive, long-term infrastructure maintenance/rehabilitation schedule and a projected increase in user growth.
Council will next review the Tax-Supported Operating & Capital Budgets on the following dates:
Tax-Supported Capital Budget: March 3, 2022 & March 4, 2022* (*if required)
Tax-Supported Operating Budget: March 31, 2022 & April 1, 2022* (*if required)
More information about 2022 budget deliberations will be shared closer to the scheduled meeting dates. Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, it has not yet been determined whether the meetings will be hosted in-person or virtually.
On Thursday, October 28, 2021, members of Haldimand County Council and staff were presented with a $600,000 donation from Empire Communities, which will be used to construct the future Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre.
This significant donation is the first received for this project, which will see a community capital fundraising campaign launched before the end of 2021 to cover the balance of funds required for construction.
“We are extremely grateful for this generous contribution and investment in the vibrancy and quality of life in our county,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.
“Blending in to and enhancing the larger community is something we strive for in every project we undertake. Supporting the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre project is one way we can contribute and fulfill this commitment,” said Mark Tutton, Empire’s President of Low Rise.
Plans for this new, multi-purpose facility were introduced earlier this year during capital budget deliberations and approved by Council for construction in 2024.
As outlined in the project’s funding conditions, the community will need to raise approximately $1 million towards the combined Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre, comprising approximately 10% of the total anticipated project budget.
This condition is consistent with similar community/County partnership projects to construct major assets, including the Cayuga and Dunnville arenas. “This substantial donation will have long lasting impacts and is an important step forward in making this facility a reality,” said Ward 4 Councillor and community fundraising committee chair Tony Dalimonte.
Dalimonte noted that a large scale, community-driven fundraising campaign will likely kick off later this year.
A preliminary community open house regarding the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre was held on October 20, 2021. Further opportunities to get involved and provide feedback will be announced as the project progresses.
We have had tremendous success in Haldimand-Norfolk as we continue through with the vaccination programs. The staff and volunteers have been dedicated, professional and courteous, making the experience for everyone as flawless as possible. We have received plenty of positive feedback regarding the process and we thank you for taking the time to thank those on the frontlines.
At present, over 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across both counties, with almost 65% of residents fully vaccinated. The Ministry of Health is aiming for all communities across the province to have 80% of the population with first dose, and over 75% of the population fully vaccinated by early August.
All residents with a second dose appointment booked for August, September or October who are 28 days past their first dose are being asked to book an appointment at a closer date. Appointments are available in various locations and may be booked using the HNHU’s Online Booking Tool or by calling the Health Unit’s Vaccine Hotline at 519-427-5903.
I urge those of you who are holding out to reconsider and think about your family and your community. While I can appreciate the decision being yours to make, your decision not only impacts you, it impacts those of us around you and we must ensure that we can withstand another potential wave. For the sake of our children who need to reacquaint themselves with traditional schooling; our businesses who need to bring much needed revenue for their families; our sporting programs that help our community stay health and vibrant both physically and mentally, lets pull together and be one of the leading areas in vaccinations in Ontario.
As we move into the fall, we are transitioning out of the arenas to make way for the sporting programs and will be working towards providing vaccination clinics in a variety of places throughout both counties.
Caledonia Protest Update
As you all know, the developer has begun the process of refunding deposits to those poor home owners who have been cheated of their dream. This is not them abandoning the site, as we still believe that they hold legal title to the lands in dispute. This is a respectful decision to allow the potential homeowners to make future decisions that best serve them.
If and when the Province and the Federal government move forward and not just engage those on Six Nations with some meaningful dialogue but also stand behind the land registry system that guides all of us accordingly, we will then start to see progress.
Whether you are a homeowner, a developer, or a municipality following the planning process, you should be able to count on the regulations and policies set out to guide the final outcome of owning your dream home.
I continue to support my friends on Six Nations who truly deserve an outcome on their long time outstanding claims, but I will never support the methodology that has been employed on Douglas Creek Estates or Mackenzie Meadows or any of those involved in such acts of disobedience.
I will continue to lobby those at the Province to engage leaders on Six Nations and to bring the Feds to account on the actual claims that are legitimate and will continue to show Haldimand, of which Caledonia is in, being a great place to live, to work, to play and mostly to raise a family.
At the Council meeting held on June 28, 2021, Haldimand County Council passed the following resolution:
THAT Haldimand County Council has reviewed the City of Hamilton’s draft recommended Truck Route Master Plan as outlined in the correspondence from the City of Hamilton sent on June 14, 2021;
AND THAT given the overwhelming public opposition, lack of adequate infrastructure to support truck traffic and the existence of a designated truck route in close proximity, Haldimand County Council is strongly opposed to Haldibrook Road being included as a proposed truck route in the City of Hamilton’s Truck Route Master Plan.
Notice of the passing of this resolution will be sent to the City of Hamilton.
The City of Hamilton is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of their Truck Route Master Plan. More information regarding the project, including how residents can participate and provide comments, can be found at engage.hamilton.ca/trmp