Richmond Hill 2007 Budget
Richmond Hill’s 2007 Budget includes capital expenditures of $17.7 million and operating expenditures of $100.4 million which results in a property tax rate increase of 5.9% as follows:
- Increase due to inflation 2.24%
- Increase due to new initiatives 3.66%
- Total Property Tax Increase 5.90% = $59 cost per year for the average household assessed at $384,000 (see below)
In addition to maintaining existing level of services such as fire, waste, recreation, roads, libraries, infrastructure and more; the budget includes the following new initiatives to better serve our community:
- the “green bin” program for the weekly recycling of organic waste
- building and staffing a “One Stop” Customer Service Centre to improve the level of service for residents’ inquiries
- producing a new official plan to protect environmental areas and plan for the people of Richmond Hill
- building and staffing the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
The Town collects property taxes on behalf of the Region and the Province. Only about 25% of the residents’ property tax bill goes to the Town for services. Therefore on a property tax bill of $4000 per year about $1000 goes to the Town.
Recognizing that some seniors on fixed income may have difficulty with rising costs, Council approved a grant of $250 per year for qualified low income and disabled seniors. Low income seniors must apply each year for the grant.
The “pie charts” show that for every dollar of municipal taxes collected from residential home owners the Town receives 25 cents; and for every commercial dollar the Town receives almost 13 cents. For more information on the Town’s budget contact the Finance Department at 905-771-8800 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
York Region’s 2007 Budget and Business Plan
York Region’s 2007 Budget includes an operating budget of $1.2 billion and about $565 million for capital expenditures for a total budget of $1.8 billion. The budget maintains service levels and invests in capital infrastructure. The $1.8 billion budget results in a 4.8% property tax rate increase. The impact on the average York Region home assessed at $371,000 is about $80 per year.
The following table illustrates how York Region spends your tax dollar.
How Your 2007 Regional Tax Dollar is Spent
- Police Services$0.28
- Transit – YRT and Viva$0.13
- GTA Pooling$0.12
- Regional Roads$0.11
- Special Purpose Bodies$0.07
- Solid Waste$0.04
- Social Assistance$0.04
- Emergency Medical Services$0.03
- Asset Replacement$0.03
- Public Health$0.02
- Family & Children’s Services$0.02
- Administrative Support$0.02
- Long Term Care$0.02
- Regional Planning$0.01
As noted, Police Services is by far the highest expenditure for the Region, accounting for 28% of the budget. York Region Transit and VIVA rapid transit services increased to second place at 13% of the budget. Investment in public transit will become increasingly more important as the Region attempts to attract more ridership to reduce the growing problems caused by traffic congestion. The Region, however, must also invest in improving the network of roads needed to move traffic. Together Transit and Roads account for 24% of the Region’s budget.
Although the Province announced it will eliminate the GTA pooling (taxes transferred to The City of Toronto for Social Services) by 2013, it remains the third largest budget item at $79.5 million or 12% of the budget.
For more information contact Ken Turriff, Corporate Communications at 1-877-464-9675 ext. 1226 or e-mail email@example.com.
Richmond Hill Tree Preservation By-law
The trees in our community are essential for our quality of life. They provide many benefits including:
- Producing oxygen
- Capturing pollution
- Absorbing water runoff and preventing erosion
- Providing shade to cool buildings, which saves energy
- Raise real estate values
- Provide habitat for wildlife
Richmond Hill Council passed a Tree Preservation By-law regulating the injury or destruction of trees on private lands. Property owners are required to obtain a Permit to Injure or Destroy a tree with a minimum diameter of 20 cm or greater. Permits are not required under the following circumstances:
- If the diameter of the tree trunk is less than 20 cm at a height of 1.4 meters from the ground
- For pruning trees away from buildings or structures as defined in the By-law
- For trees in a nursery , fruit trees or other cultivated operations
- If York Region Forestry requires a permit
- If the injury or destruction of a tree is undertaken by a municipality, government agency or utility company
- To remove a dead, diseased, hazardous or severely injured tree
- For emergency work to prevent injury.
Applications for a permit to Injure or Destroy a Tree may be obtained from The Parks Recreation&Culture Department or from the town’s website at www.richmondhill.ca. Complete the application and drop it off with a non-refundable cheque for $150 for the first tree and $50 for each additional tree.
Solid Waste Management
Solid Waste Management has come a long way from merely placing garbage in a bin or plastic bag for the city to pick up and dump in the nearest landfill site. Growing concern with the environmental impact of dumping waste in landfill sites has caused people and government to re-think how to get rid of waste. Local and regional municipalities are co-ordinating their efforts on the collection and disposal of waste.
Starting this fall, all nine area municipalities in the Region of York will collect organic waste (such as food and tissue paper) in the green bin and recyclable blue box materials (such as paper and plastics) weekly. Non recyclable products (e.g. plastic grocery bags and Styrofoam) will be picked up bi-weekly. Hazardous waste, including batteries, motor oil, detergents and paint should be delivered to the HHW depot at the following locations:
- Rodrick Road located east of Woodbine Avenue south of Miller Avenue in Markham
- The Vaughan Hazardous Waste Depot at 2840 Rutherford Rd. and east of Jane Street
- 225 Garfield Wright Blvd., East Gwillimbury; east of Woodbine Avenue north of Davis Drive
Yard Waste is picked up bi-monthly from April to December. Yard waste must be placed in reusable containers, paper bags or boxes. Yard waste in plastic bags, grass clippings or sod will not be picked up.
By year-end, York Region and the nine area municipalities will implement Source Separate Organics and Blue Box Recyclable and Yard Waste programs to divert up to 65% of household waste. Although improved recycling programs may increase the diversion of waste above 65%, the remaining 35% non recyclable waste (residual waste) must be disposed of either in landfill sites or alternatively by use of new technologies.
In 2006 York Region sent about 194,000 tonnes of residual waste to landfill sites in Ontario and Michigan. Although the Region’s objective
is to reduce the volume of residual waste, the projected population growth in York Region of 1.5 million people by 2031 will increase the volume of residual waste.
York Region has proposed the following long term strategies to address the management of residual waste:
- Send up to 100,000 tonnes per year of residual waste to Dongara Limited to convert the waste to fuel pellets. The fuel pellets are sold to produce steam, electricity and replace coal in cement kilns. However York Region will still have residual to dispose of by some other method.
- York partnered with Durham to undertake an individual Environmental Assessment (EA) to construct an “energy from waste facility” (i.e. incinerator). To date five sites were identified for an incinerator, of which one is located in East Gwillimbury and four are located in Clarington. Over the next year both regions will continue to assess the merits of each site and investigate the types of incineration systems available.
- York will always need landfill capacity because there will always be some residual waste after processing blue box material, organic waste or bottom ash from an energy waste facility. The Region negotiated a long term landfill agreement with Green Lane Landfill in St. Thomas.
For more information contact York Region Waste Management at 1-877-464-9675 or go to www.york.ca
York Region Rapid Transit System
Traffic congestion and smog are choking our communities with longer travel times and increasing health problems. York Region partnered with a private consortium to develop a rapid transit system including bus-only lanes down the centre of Yonge Street. The bus-only lanes would be separated with landscaped barriers and mid point crossings on the road. Public discussions for the initial phase of the Yonge Street rapid-way from Steeles Ave to Highway 7 have started. Local business owners and residents have voiced strong objections to the proposed widening.
York Region spent $150 million to initiate the successful Quick Start rapid bus program on regional roads. The Region estimates the capital costs for Phase 2 of the VIVA System at $1.6 billion. York Region does not have the capital investment to build a region-wide transit system. It needs the financial support of senior government; but only a portion of the capital funds has been advanced by the Federal and Provincial governments.
Provincial policy projects that by 2031 York Region is expected to have a population of 1.5 million with 40 percent of the intensification along the Yonge Street and Highway 7 corridors. The need for an effective and efficient transit system is crucial. Richmond Hill’s population by the year 2021 is expected to increase to 228,200 persons with an employment base of 96,000 jobs. The result is an estimated 40% more traffic during morning rush hour. The Town’s Transportation Master Plan recommends the extension of the Yonge Street subway from Finch to Highway 7 to handle transit needs beyond the year 2021. The Region’s review also strongly supports the subway extension to Richmond Hill. This implies that the proposed express bus-only lane is an interim measure, which may serve the community needs for about 10 years. So why is the Region prepared to spend $1.6 billion on dedicated bus-only lanes dividing the center of Yonge Street when it may be replaced with the subway?
Several factors make the dedicated bus-only lanes on Yonge Street a short-sighted, short-term solution:
- Toronto is pursuing a light rail transit system that may not align with York Region’s bus-only lane
- the source of the capital funds to complete the project is uncertain; and
- the pressures of growth over the next 20 years support a subway system
It would be prudent for York Region to focus on developing a sustainable long-term rapid transit system that fulfills projected needs. The Provincial policy to intensify development along Yonge Street implies a growing need for rapid transit. Rather than spending $1.6 billion on a bus-only lane that may be replaced in ten years, the Region should improve the Quick Start Bus program without widening the existing roads. The funds could be set aside to build a sustainable long-term region-wide transit system that extends the subway north along Yonge Street and co-ordinates the transit network, and an expanded all day Go Train service. In fact, history shows that a sustainable subway transit system built in advance of development will become the driving force for land use intensification, such as the Sheppard Yonge centre.
Special Events Spring-Summer 2007
Listed are this summer’s special events for you and your family to enjoy.
- Saturday June 9, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm celebrate Richmond Hill Heritage Day. Yonge Street will be closed from Major Mackenzie Drive to Crosby Avenue.
- June 15 to 17, the Oak Ridges Lions Club will host the fourth Annual Family Fair&Home Show at the Oak Ridges Recreation Centre and Bond Lake Arena located on Old Colony east of Yonge Street.
- July 1 celebrate Canada Day at Richmond Green
- Concerts in the Park are held every Thursday evening at the Mill Pond north of York Central Hospital starting July 12 to August 30. Three concerts will also be performed at the Richmond Green Amphitheatre on Sunday afternoons on July 15, July 29 and August 12.
Enjoy a happy and safe summer!