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Owen Sound gives final approval to 2021 budget

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City council has given final approval to Owen Sound’s 2021 budget, which will see residential property tax bills rise by 1.85 per cent this year.

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The spending plan, approved by bylaw Monday, includes a 2.76 per cent increase to the municipal levy. The overall property tax increase drops to 1.85 per cent after factoring in Grey County and education levies.

As a result, homeowners will see their property taxes climb by $32.92 per $100,000 of assessment this year.

“The proposed budget is consistent with council’s commitment to keeping property taxes in line with inflation,” said Mayor Ian Boddy. “It provides the funds necessary to build and maintain the city’s infrastructure and deliver the services our citizens expect.”

The spending plan includes a $39-million operating budget and $12.9-million capital budget.

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PHONE, INTERNET VOTING APPROVED

Owen Sound electors will vote online and by telephone in the 2022 municipal election.

Council approved a committee recommendation directing staff to bring forward a bylaw to authorize the voting methods for the next municipal and school board elections on Oct. 24, 2022.

The city also used telephone and Internet voting in 2018.

Legislative services manager Kristen Van Alphen said there was a slight delay in receiving results in that vote due to a bandwidth restriction from a third-party provider. However, she told the committee that measures have been put in place by providers to ensure any similar issues will not occur again, according to committee minutes.

Municipalities have several voting method options – paper ballots, vote by mail, Internet and telephone voting or a combination of those options.

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The committee heard that Internet/telephone voting would be the least expensive for the city at $100,000. Those methods also support public health protocols, are the most accessible, provide the quickest results and are most manageable by staff, the city says.

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CAPITAL PROJECT MAP CREATED

Owen Sound has created a GIS map of its 2021 capital projects.

The Geographic Information System map allows residents to see information on the projects, including the project names, budgets, estimated completion dates and detailed project sheets.

The map will be updated regularly to include pictures of projects as they progress. 2021 is a pilot year for the map.

Owen Sound’s GIS maps are available at owensound.ca/en/living/gis-and-mapping.aspx

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CITY ISSUES SNOWMOBILING REMINDER

With snow expected to continue falling in Owen Sound, city hall has issued a reminder about the rules for snowmobilers in the city.

A city bylaw prohibits people from operating a snowmobile between 12 and 7 a.m., within a half-mile radius of any church/synagogue during a worship service, on sidewalks, in the core or in any park except on permitted trails identified on the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs map at ofsc.evtrails.com.

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CALL FOR PERFORMERS

Owen Sound is seeking performers for this year’s TD Harbour Nights Concert Series.

Concerts are to take place Sundays at 7 p.m. from June 20 to August 11 at 1155 1st Ave. W., provided pandemic-related restrictions allow.

Artists and musicians are asked to email samples of their work, along with information on the number of members in their group and approximate cost of performing to specialevents@owensound.ca. The city will provide sound requirements.

Successful artists will be contacted in March.

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CITY APPROVES BUSINESS LICENCES

Owen Sound approved business licences for the following:

  • CC Variety Good Vibes at 271 9th St. E.;
  • Barkin’ Purrfect, a mobile pet grooming service, at 1348 7th Ave. W.; and
  • Seeley Carpentry at 375 2nd Avenue East

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