Every year, Strathroy-Caradoc Council prepares a budget that guides spending in local operations for that calendar year. The budget is generally divided into two parts - an operating budget and a capital budget. In 2017, the overall budget calls for spending of $34,385,988. Of that, revenue from property taxes covers $15,295,686, or about 44 percent of the overall total. The rest comes from user fees (52 percent), the federal gas tax (2 percent), and provincial grants and payments-in-lieu of taxes (about 1 percent each).
For a detailed breakdown of overall spending in the budget, see the budget presentation made to council.
Also, see the detailed budget summary council considered when approving the 2017 budget.
The taxes individual property owners pay to help fund the Strathroy-Caradoc budget are only about half of their total property tax bills. The rest goes to Middlesex County and to the Province of Ontario to help pay education costs. For a detailed breakdown of how property taxes are used, see our tax rates page.
The operating budget is made up of all the funds spent on day-to-day operations of the municipality. That includes things like police and fire service, road maintenance including winter plowing, salting, and sanding, the operation of infrastructure like sewer, water, and storm sewer service, a wide array of recreational and cultural programs, and various administrative activities such as planning and economic development. It also includes debt repayment on loans taken out in previous years to pay for various projects and purchases.
And in 2017, the operating budget also includes a $100,000 donation to Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital to help pay for new 3D Laparoscopic equipment. Council is also committed to spending another $100,000 on this project in 2018.
The total operating budget for 2017 is $24,603,585, or nearly 72 percent of all spending. Of that, $13,895,638 comes from property tax revenue. That total is down marginally from 2016.
Being consistent with past practice, the 2017 budget allocates funds for the municipality's Asset Management Program.
Since 2015, revenue from new assessment, whether from increased assessment on existing properties or assessment generated from new growth, has gone into this fund. Total annual contributions represent about two percent of all tax revenue.
The Asset Management Plan looks at the long-term condition of all municipal assets and creates annual investments to cover their eventual replacement without having to resort to future sharp tax increases. The development of an asset management plan is also a requirement of the Province of Ontario to ensure eligibility for future special project grants.
The capital budget includes funds to pay for new projects planned by the municipality for the year. In 2017, about 40 projects have been included in the budget.
In 2017, a total of nearly $9.8 million has been set aside for capital work. Of that, $1.4 million, or 14 percent, will come from tax revenue, with the rest coming from grants (42%), user fees (22%), development charges (13%), gas tax (5%), and deferred revenue (4%).
Below is a list of capital projects included in the budget.
Note: As the year progresses, there can often be changes in the capital project list from what the budget includes. These changes can result from shifts in priorities, unexpected demands that must be paid for, unexpected delays, and other changing circumstances. So the list of projects accomplished in any given year may not be exactly the same as the list originally included in the budget.
- Princess St. Reconstruction: from Maitland Terrace to Caradoc St. S., storm sewer separation, watermain upgrading, and full sanitary sewer and street reconstruction, includes new sidewalks (Princess St. full length, Keefer St. from Princess to Adelaide, Burns St. from Princess to Adelaide, Caradoc St. from Princess to Ontario; estimated cost $2.146 million ($1.9 million from Ontario Community Infrastructure Grant, the rest from deferred revenue)
- Allen Road Watermain Loop: to improve back-up supply and improve fire water flows to Campbellvale, Delaware West, and Longwoods-Mill Rd. area; estimated cost $150,000 (half through grants/recoveries and half through user fees)
- Park St. Pump Station Rehabilitation: This pump station was built in 1977. It is in poor condition. The project will be complicated, since three sewer lines discharge into this station; estimated cost $250,000 (paid through user fees)
- Caradoc St. Reconstruction Phase 1: Sydenham River to Hull Rd., watermain and sanitary sewer replacement, culvert improvement at Hull Rd.; estimated cost $900,000 ($610,250 provincial grant - not yet formally approved when budget was approved - $100,000 from gas tax, and $189,750 from development charges; Middlesex County has allocated $1.55 million for storm sewer and road reconstruction work); Phase 2, from Sydenham River to English St., will provide a storm sewer outlet for areas such as Queen St., Princess St., and McKellar St., and is scheduled for 2018
- McKellar St. Reconstruction: Metcalfe St. E. to Dell Dr., storm water improvements, water main and sanitary sewer replacement, and road reconstruction; estimated cost nearly $2.113 million (dependent on provincial grant of nearly $1 million not yet approved, user fees of $600,000, $356,640 development charges, and $157,880 gas tax) NOTE: This project has been delayed until 2018 to allow Union Gas to replace underground natural gas lines at the same time. Project design and call for tenders will go ahead later in 2017, with construction to take place in 2018.
- McKellar St. Reconstruction: Dell Dr. to Carroll St., road reconstruction; estimated cost $382,970 ($286,970 from development charges and $96,000 from tax revenue) NOTE: This project has been delayed until 2018 - see above.
- Ellor St. Reconstruction: south from Clarence St. for 600 metres; includes storm and sanitary sewer replacement, watermain upgrades, road reconstruction, and new sidewalk for 338 metres from Henry St. to the south limit of former Streamline plant; estimated cost $1.22 million ($375,800 from grants and recoveries, $245,700 from gas tax, and nearly $600,000 from user fees)
- Albert St. Pump Replacement: Replacement of one of the two pumps at the Pump Station. After several years of various repairs, the pump failed twice in 2016, prompting the decision to replace it; estimated cost $275,000 ($233,750 from user fees and $41,250 from grants and recoveries)
- Strathroy-Mount Brydges Water Tower Upgrades: relating to security, rescue, and fall arrest improvements; estimated cost $15,000 (all paid through user fees)
- Mount Brydges Reservoir Upgrades: roof replacement, asbestos removal, facade improvement; estimated cost $100,000 (all paid through user fees)
- Strathroy Sewage Treatment Plant Lagoon Biosolids Removal: removal of biosolids building up near the biosolids discharge point in the lagoon; estimated cost $250,000 ($217,875 from user fees and $32,125 through grants and recoverables)
- Tar and Chip (Ward 2): including parts of Parkhouse Dr. W., Christina Rd., Olde Dr., Century Dr.; estimated cost $445,000 ($214,000 through tax revenue, $211,000 through development charges)
- Asphalt Repaving: including parts of Penny Lane, Railway Ave., Head St. S., Mill Pond Crescent, Maple St., along with various other roadwork including cuts and sidewalk/laneway repairs across the municipality; estimated cost $225,000 ($140,000 through development charges and $85,000 from tax revenue)
- Sidewalks: sidewalk replacement; in Strathroy, locations include Drury Lane, Parkview Cres., Bella St., McNab St.; in Ward 2, locations include parts of Bowan St. W., Helen St., Adelaide St., King St., John St., Glendon Dr., and some county road sidewalk sections in Melbourne; estimated cost $70,000 ($41,000 through development charges and $29,000 from tax revenue)
- Streetlights: replacement of about 18 streetlight poles along Helen Dr., Maple St. area and Frank St. as recommended by Entegrus; estimated cost $40,000 (all from tax revenue)
- Communications Centre Upgrades: continuing to acquire communications equipment for a back-up communications centre at the Mount Brydges Firehall in case the primary site has to be evacuated in an emergency; estimated cost is $50,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Small Equipment Purchase: Upgrading in-cruiser work stations and purchasing card scanning technology to expand the traffic safety program; estimated cost $8,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Fleet Purchase: for two Police Pursuit-rated vehicles, which will replace two vehicles now in service; estimated cost $92,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Portable Radio Replacement: second phase of a two-year project to replace and standardize portable radios so that almost all firefighters at a fire scene, especially firefighters who enter into a structure fire, will have a portable radio; estimated cost $45,130 (paid through tax revenue)
| Parks and Recreation
- Caradoc Community Centre: commercial-grade dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator purchase; estimated cost $27,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Gemini Sportsplex: Front entrance sliding door replacement; estimated cost $13,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Gemini Sportsplex: Dressing Room HVAC and Control Replacement; to replace original equipment and increase efficiency of energy use; estimated cost $200,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Gemini Sportsplex: Security system upgrade; to replace original equipment; estimated cost $15,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Parks: Playground equipment replacements for High St. and Southfield Dr. parks; consultation with neighbourhood groups would take place before any work is done, and the municipality would look for partners to assist with these projects; estimated cost $75,000 (paid through grants and recoveries)
- Scout House: Roof replacement and accessible washroom installation; washroom would serve splash pad users with access only from the outside; estimated cost $65,000 (paid through tax revenues)
- Royals Field at Alexandra Park: Upgrades to the infield of the ball diamond; estimated cost $15,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Royals Field at Alexandra Park: Installation of safety netting to protect users of the splash pad; estimated cost $20,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Rotary Club Pavilion Upgrade: estimated cost $10,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Yorkview Community Park: parking lot improvements, to maximize the number of spots available for parking; estimated cost $15,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- West Middlesex Memorial Centre: Dehumidifier replacement, existing dehumidifiers are beyond their life expectancy, this would replace one which failed beyond repair last year; estimated cost $85,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Strathroy and Area Seniors Centre: Auditorium hardwood floor maintenance and refinishing; estimated cost $20,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Tri-Township Arena: four capital projects including: replacing upper seating bleachers, office improvements, floor scrubber replacement, and building condition assessment; estimated cost $100,000 ($59,500 from tax revenue, $40,500 deferred from 2016 for building condition assessment)
- Fleet replacements: Six vehicles across four departments will be purchased; estimated cost $420,000 (fleet payments are part of department operating budgets)
- New furnace and internal road improvements: Existing office building furnace is an oil furnace over 20 years old, would be replaced by more environmentally friendly propane furnace for better energy efficiency; internal roads would be resurfaced; estimated cost $20,000 ($9,000 from development charges, $11,000 from tax revenue)
| Property Management
- Town Hall Bell Tower Restoration: Bell tower would be restored in a manner that retains the architectural integrity of this iconic feature of the building, yet requires minimal maintenance; estimated cost $150,000 ($92,000 from deferred revenue, $58,000 from tax revenue)
| Information Systems
- Radio Upgrade for Fire Service: Radio equipment upgrade/replacement on all three water towers to replace current system, which is at end of life; half the cost deferred from 2016; estimated cost $135,000 ($67,500 deferred revenue, $67,500 from tax revenue)
- Melbourne Fire Hall: High-speed wireless Internet link; current link is very limited, inter-office connection not currently available; estimated cost $12,500 (paid through tax revenue)
- External Security Cameras: at the Fair Grounds Aquatic Centre and the Town Hall parking lots; estimated cost $5,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Workstation/Laptop and Printer Replacements: includes 14 workstations, 4 laptops, and 4 printers, most of these systems are over five years old; estimated cost $25,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Gemini Sportsplex: Fire panel replacement, will also replace DVAC communications lines to a more inexpensive monitoring solution; estimated cost $10,000 (paid through tax revenue)
- Gemini Sportsplex: Replacement of data cabling to accommodate new technologies like IP Phone, HVAC, PLC units, and surveillance systems; estimated cost $25,000 (paid through tax revenue)