Council agreed to a proposal to have the CAO and Mayor “initiate a dialogue with our municipal partners” regarding the cost sharing agreement. The Heads of the Councils of Mississippi Mills, Beckwith and Carleton Place and their CAOs met privately on November 16. The CAO made a report about the meeting at the December 1 Mississippi Mills Committee of the Whole meeting.
They discovered that Carleton Place appointed a Mississippi Mills resident to sit on their own Parks and Recreation Committee for the past twelve years.
On December 7, Councillors Guerard and Dalgity attended a Parks and Recreation Cost Sharing meeting with the heads of council for Carleton Place, Beckwith and Mississippi Mills. Carleton Place presented this “draft budget”.
Of note in this document:
We give Carleton Place a portion of the provincial public library operating grant; the grant is based on population. Carleton Place and Beckwith also receive a library grant on the same principle.
Carleton Place did not include any Phase One funds received from the provincial government for COVID deficits in their recreation revenue. Again, this is based on population.
The Carleton Place taxpayer pays the following portions of their own facilities costs: 62.50% of their library, 58.01% of the pool, and 62.5% of their recreation (arena, parks, canteens, etc). Contrast this to the Mississippi Mills taxpayer’s share of recreation: 100% for our library and 100% for our other recreation (arenas, halls, sports fields, parks, trails etc), PLUS 12% of the Carleton Place Library, 18.42% of the Carleton Place pool, and 12.11% of other recreation in Carleton Place.
The Carleton Place proposed 2021 cost-sharing budget states the numbers are based on Howard Allan’s 2020 percentages.
The cost of this proposed “incredible value to the taxpayers”* skyrockets from a total of $149.832 in 2020 to $190,227 for 2021; $40,395.
By scrapping this agreement, we are not asking Carleton Place do anything more than what we already do: pay 100% of our own recreation facilities. There is an argument to be made for supporting the pool, but perhaps by grants to our residents and swim team to offset their costs.
Can Carleton Place afford to pay for their own recreation?
Note Carleton Place’s average residential tax increase for 2019: 88 cents.
Note Carleton Place’s proposed tax increase for 2021: 1.97%, still with a 35% increase in recreation spending. Why burden your own taxpayers when you can burden the taxpayers in another municipality?
Mississippi Mills tax increases will be upwards of 4%, not including water and sewer rate increases to Almonte residents. See the December 15, 2020 Council agenda.
*Mayor Christa Lowry, August 23, 2020