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Highlights from the Feb. 15 Council Meeting

Posted on Friday February 16, 2024

Woodstock – Thursday’s Council meeting got underway with a delegation from Woodstock’s Accessibility Advisory committee offering feedback related to accessibility and the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan. This feedback came as part of the consultation regarding possible scope reduction and implementation options that Council asked staff to report back with as a way to reduce the financial burden on taxpayers. The public survey is available online at www.letstalkwoodstock.ca until March 3.

Planning Reports

Council considered several planning reports coming out of Monday’s Planning Meeting, including a report paving the way for an eight-unit condominium development on Bain Street. This is just the latest residential intensification project supported by Woodstock City Council as it works towards increasing the number of housing options for families in Woodstock.

2024 Revenue Budget

An overview of the 2024 revenue budget was presented to Council on Thursday evening. Staff shared the detailed budget deliberation schedule and proposed base budget, which outlines the cost to deliver the same level of service and programs as 2023. Staff also identified a number of additional items for Council’s consideration that would improve levels of service, introduce new services or initiatives and accommodate additional staffing and equipment needs resulting from growth.

The proposed tax levy, which is the net amount raised through property taxes, is $73,888,370 which results in tax rate increase of 4.86 per cent. This means the average single detached home in Woodstock would see an increase of $135.60. If Council were to approve all of the recommended additions to base (not including the transit options), the tax rate increase would be 8.25 per cent over the 2023 rate or $230.30 for the average single detached home.

It is important to note that these figures only reflect the City portion of the tax bill. The final tax bill also includes tax amounts collected by the City of Woodstock on behalf of the school boards and Oxford County.

Council will have an opportunity to learn more about any proposed budget changes when staff present their departmental budgets at two special meetings of Council on Tuesday, Feb. 20 and Thursday, Feb. 22. The Police Board, Library Board and Woodstock Art Gallery Board will present their budgets on Thursday, March 7. Budget approval is scheduled for Thursday, March 21.

Reconstruction Tenders Awarded

Local company Viewcon Construction Limited was the successful proponent for two upcoming reconstruction projects. These reconstruction projects are an important part of our asset management program. Regular investment in our infrastructure is necessary to adapt to environmental factors, support growth and keep municipal assets in good repair. Rathbourne Avenue from Huron Street to Blandford Street and Leinster Street from Devonshire Avenue to Durham Crescent will undergo reconstruction which is expected to start in April or May of this year. Properties affected by the reconstruction will receive information directly once plans are finalized.

Details about these items, or any of the other topics discussed during the council meeting, can be found at www.cityofwoodstock.ca/agendasandminutes. Council meetings are live streamed on the City’s YouTube channel and recordings of the meetings are posted online following the meetings.

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Phone: 519-539-1291
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