From The Gazette

Beaconsfield

Property taxes likely to rise slightly in Beaconsfield

Beaconsfield homeowners will likely face a small property tax hike in 2013.

The city has posted a draft version of its annual budget and three-year capital works program online and held an information meeting with residents Monday, with a final version to be adopted Dec. 17.

The draft says the owner of an average Beaconsfield home, with a valuation of $429,715, will face a municipal tax bill of $5,134 in 2013, an increase of about $26 from this year. Of that tax bill, just over half is destined for the Montreal agglomeration for regional charges and services, like police and fire prevention.

While the proposed 2013 tax bill portion for local services was reduced by just under three per cent from this year, the agglomeration bill for Beaconsfield homeowners is to increased by just over three per cent.

“It’s a lot of little things,” Mayor David Pollock said of the small decrease in taxes for local services. “In some cases we’re receiving more grant money, some costs have gone down — for example the water-treatment plant in Pointe-Claire.”

The proposed $41-million 2013 budget, which includes Beaconsfield’s agglo allotment, represents an increase of about three per cent from this year.

As for the 2013-15 capital program, which totals about $41.5 million overall, the city has earmarked $4.1 million for a new community centre, though only $100,000 of that is costed for 2013.

While the city awarded a contract in May for an architect to run a design contest for the community centre, a location has yet to be determined, Pollock said.

The $100,000 targeted for the community centre in 2013 is not an amount that is fully defined, the mayor said, adding it will continue to study what the final structure may look like.

Though at one time the city had estimated the project would cost about $6 million in its triennial capital program, it’s been scaled down to about $4 million to better reflect actual needs, Pollock said.

The mayor said while the design contest could be launched in 2013, the official site could be selected afterward, possibly by a new council following the election next November.

“The initial idea was for them to look at the various properties we have and present their ideas of what they feel is the best fit,” Pollock said, adding Centennial Park, the city-owned Lord Reading Yacht Club and the City Lane area next to the arena could all be in play for firms to offer proposals in the contest.

Highlights in the capital program for next year include $2.5 million tabbed for an artificial grass sports field, if a provincial grant is forthcoming, and $1.5 million for upgrades to the recreational centre. Some of the proposals for the rec centre could include adding a family changing room to improving accessibly for the disabled, Pollock said.

About $125,000 is slated for a youth skate park. A project to upgrade the existing skate park was scrapped earlier this year after council voted to reject a tender bid.

As well, $7.3 million is headed for the city’s underground infrastructure program, dealing with sewers and drainage basins.

A total of $1.5 million is slated for road rehabilitation, including a project to widen Elm Ave. near the Woodland railroad crossing, resurfacing of some streets and for an ongoing program to add sidewalks near schools and parks.

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