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Media Release: Budget 2021 – Decreases operating budget; maintains mil rates and services

Posted on Tuesday December 15, 2020
With no changes to mil rates, the $37.2 million 2021 Budget for the Town of Paradise was presented during the regular Public Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 15. 
 
For 2021, the residential and commercial mil rates will remain at 7.2 and 11.5 respectively. The Town is facing reduced revenues next year as property assessments have decreased. Under the Safe Restart Agreement from the federal and provincial governments, the Town received $1.2 million and this is enabling the Town to maintain mil rates. 
 
“Without a doubt this year has been a challenging year for everyone. On Council, we understand what our residents have been facing throughout 2020, and this will likely continue into next year. That is why we wanted to maintain mil rates for 2021,” said Mayor Dan Bobbett.
 
Budget 2021 is built around Your Paradise- Plan 2022, the Town’s three-year strategic plan. The plan is based on five strategic pillars, Governance and Engagement, Regional Collaboration, Environmental Stewardship, Infrastructure and Economic Growth, and Social and Cultural Health. It outlines the long-term priorities and sets the overall direction for the Town. 
 
Focused on the strategic pillars of Your Paradise – Plan 2022, key investments in for Budget 2021 include: 
  • Increasing the street rehabilitation budget to $900,000;
  • Investing in Phase I of Evergreen Village water and sewer upgrades;
  • Installing traffic calming measures at the three school zones, similar to the pilot project the Town completed at Elizabeth Park Elementary;
  • Completion of park area for WoodStock Gardens and revitalization of recreational amenities for Elizabeth Park;
  • Installing a multi-sport turf field and lighting upgrades at Dianne Whalen Memorial Soccer Complex,
  • Investing in the Infrastructure Reserve Fund and continuing with the Business Support Plan (launched as part of the pandemic response);
  • Conducting a Financial Re-engineering project for a new financial system for the Town; and
  • Eliminating the fee for New Home Construction Permits (for 2021 only).   
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Paradise. Throughout 2021, the Town is planning to host events, programs, and initiatives to mark this milestone. Further information and details will be announced in the new year and all plans will follow public health guidelines. 
 
“Our budget plan for 2021 ensures the Town stays on the path to maintain a strong financial position. We have reduced the overall operating budget while maintaining services for our residents, and we are doing this with one of the lowest debt-serving ratios in the province,” said Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Laurie, Chair of Corporate Services Committee. “We have exciting plans for 2021, including marking the 50th Anniversary of the Town of Paradise, and I look forward to seeing these initiatives unfold in the coming year.”  
The complete 2021 Budget package is available on the Town’s website at www.paradise.ca/Budget
 
Media Contact
Diane Keough, Communications Manager, Town of Paradise
709.782.2603 (office) or 709.769.4212 (cell)
 

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