‘Under so much fiscal pressure’: Barrie councillors near approval of 3.05 per cent property tax bump

NEWS 11:30 PM by Chris Simon  Barrie Advance

The average home assessed at $351,368 will pay an additional $126 in property taxes next year

And up it goes. Barrie’s general committee passed a 3.05 per cent property tax increase –– or $126 for an average home assessed at $351,368 –– as part of draft 2020 budget deliberations Dec. 2. The nearly $362-million operating and more than $200-million capital budget documents need to be ratified Dec. 9.

“We need to have a better source of income,” Coun. Clare Riepma said. “The property tax base is just not adequate…. It’s not sustainable.”

So how does your tax bill break down?  The average home will pay $4,268 in property taxes next year. That amount is split between the city (56 per cent), service partners such as the County of Simcoe, police, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and conservation authorities (31 per cent), and school boards (13 per cent).

Policing eats up the largest portion of your bill at $836 per year, followed by infrastructure renewal ($562), education ($541), Barrie Fire and Emergency Service ($405), city governance ($294), the county ($280), road and traffic operations ($261), transit ($205), debt charges ($189), libraries ($126) and recreation ($124).

There are several challenges in maintaining existing services and meeting the status quo within the budget. Each year, staffing, equipment repairs, fuel, winter control and contracted service costs increase. Also, several funding changes announced by the Ontario government will have a local effect, the city’s budget document says.

“Every day, residents and businesses use city services and see their tax dollars at work,” the budget reads. “In a typical day, most residents will use clean water from their taps; use wastewater services by flushing toilets or draining showers; place garbage and recycling in containers for future pickup; walk on a sidewalk; drive in a car or ride a city bus on a road which has stoplights, signage and street lighting.”

Mayor Jeff Lehman said he’s “really upset” over provincial downloading, specifically as it relates to county-run social services, city policing and the health unit.

“We’re under so much fiscal pressure,” he said. “Cuts have real impact. This is the inevitable struggle that (results) from downloading. The province has put us in this position. It makes us be the bad guys. The residents of Barrie have to pick up the cost. Where do we push back? I am not willing to get this dumped on us.”

Councillors also plan to allocate $1 million toward the city’s community improvement plan, to encourage the development of affordable-housing units.

“I’m really concerned we aren’t creating the units we so desperately need,” Coun. Keenan Aylwin said. “It’s unacceptable people are living on the street in this city.”

The capital budget also includes funding for projects such as the Harvie Road bridge at Highway 400, right-of-way expansion and a sanitary sewer installation for McKay Road, a new trunk watermain on Mapleview Drive East, wastewater treatment facility upgrades, the renovation of a building at 79 Bell Farm Rd. into an indoor firearms range for police, and Dunlop Street corridor improvements.

Water rates would also climb by 3.47 per cent ($11.50 for the average home), while wastewater rates could jump by 3.83 per cent ($22.96) under the proposal. Parking rates would stay steady.

The city’s debt hit $322 million this year. It won’t dip below $300 million during the next five years. In 2020, the city will pay more than $33 million toward debt servicing.

“We’re all in a crunch here,” Coun. Mike McCann said. “We all need to tighten our socks. This is a year where we need to be fiscally responsible.”

Operating budgets typically include the ongoing costs incurred by a municipality, such as salaries and maintenance. A capital budget usually consists of one-time projects such as road reconstruction, infrastructure upgrades and fleet purchases.

For more information, email budget.questions@barrie.ca or visit barrie.ca.

ACE HOUSING AWARDS

On Friday, November 22nd, 2019 The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association held their 9th Annual Awards of Creative Excellence & Presidents Gala!

The theme was “A Night In Paris”

 This is where we recognize excellence & honour creativity, innovation and design in new home construction & renovations! There were 60 submissions & competition was fierce.

The Winners are:

Custom Excellence In Single Family Dwelling, under 2500 sq.ft.,

Alair Homes Georgian Bay, Sponsored by Enbridge

Custom Excellence In Single Family Dwelling, over 2500 sq. ft is Prycon Custom Building & Renovations, Sponsored by Barrie Trim & Mouldings

Excellence in Townhouses & Condo’s is Mountain House at Windfall, Georgian International Build Corp. sponsored by Moen

Excellence In Single Family Dwelling under 2500 sq.ft is Devonleigh Homes sponsored by Enercare

Excellence In Single Family Dwelling over 2500. sq. ft is Windfall at Blue, Georgian International Build Corp. sponsored by Reliance

 Excellence In Kitchen Renovation, over $50,000 contract cost is Homes by Daycor sponsored by Georgian International Build Corp.

Excellence In Kitchen Renovation, under $50,000 contract cost is Infinite Designs, Sponsored by Farsight Homes

Excellence in Renovation any room, over $30,000 contract cost is Prycon Custom Building & Renovations sponsored by Pratt Homes

Excellence in Renovation any room, under $30,000 contract cost is Infinite Designs sponsored by Pace Developments

Excellence in Home Addition is Alair Homes Barrie, Sponsored by United Lumber

Excellence in Outdoor Living Space is Total Living Concepts sponsored by Michael Enterprises

Excellence in Interior Decorating for Model Home is Devonleigh Homes Sponsored by Bell

Excellence in Print Media is Farsight Homes, Sponsored by Simcoe.com

Excellence in Website Design is Mountain House at Windfall Georgian International, Sponsored by Larche Digital

Project of the Year is Urban North Pace Developments, Sponsored by Primetime Financial

Top Member of the Year Melissa Almonte, Gregor Homes

Top Member of the Year Josee Doucet, People Ready

Top Member Company of the year is Enbridge

Consumer Choice Awards Sponsored by Customer Insight:

Consumers Choice Award – Large volume is Georgian International Build Corp.

Consumers Choice Award – Custom is Prycon Custom Building & Renovations

Consumers Choice Award – Renovation is Infinite Designs  

Congratulations to all our finalists & winners! Thank you so much to all our wonderful sponsors for helping to showcase such talent & skill!

 

 


 

BOB SCHICKEDANZ TO BE ELECTED 53rd PRESIDENT OF THE ONTARIO HOME BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION

Toronto, Sept. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bob Schickedanz will be elected President of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) for 2019-2020 at the association’s Annual Meeting of Members being held Monday, September 23 at the Blue Mountain Village and Conference Centre in Collingwood during the OHBA Annual Conference – Building Growth Together.  Bob most recently served as the association’s 1st Vice President and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2017.  A long-time, active leader in Ontario’s development and building community, he also served as President of the Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association (SCHBA) between 2016 – 18.

The professional residential development industry runs deep in Bob’s veins with a family history of building going back 75 years to his father Daniel in Lithuania. Daniel, along with his cousins Kurt, Gerhard and Gustav, formed Schickedanz Brothers Ltd. in 1951 with their first few projects in Oakville and then gradually expanded.  Bob, at the age of 16, and his brother Rick, followed in the footsteps of their father and uncles, and joined as apprentice framers at one of the company’s building sites in Newmarket. Bob credits his time framing homes as the impetus for pursuing an education as an engineer with the goal of becoming a builder-designer.  He graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Civil Engineering and began his career as a structural engineer with the Marshall Macklin Monaghan Group.

At 24, Bob rejoined the family business in the role of property acquisitions, development planning and approvals, where he enjoyed great success.   By 2000, with 35 years of experience under his belt Bob, joined his brother Rick the founder and president of Far Sight Homes. In keeping with family traditions, Rick and Bob brought in Rick’s sons, Johnathan and David, to help run the company and to keep the family business growing.  Bob recalls his early opportunities working on family job sites as the best foundation for positive growth in his career and carries this into his business today actively encouraging and hiring young people in the skilled trades.  Bob believes that the best future begins with a solid foundation and is eager to help employ the next generation of builders.

Bob and his wife Claritta have four adult children Juliana, Erika, Claire and Corina, two grandchildren Kristen and George and currently reside in the home where their children grew up in Thornhill, Ontario.

About OHBA:As #homebeliever champions, the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) believes in the great Canadian dream of home ownership by supporting more housing choice and supply across Ontario. OHBA is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province.

 

 


 

Prime Minister announces advisory committee aimed at promoting skilled trades

Published Friday, August 16, 2019 10:41AM EDT 
Last Updated Friday, August 16, 2019 2:24PM EDT

HALIFAX — A new advisory committee will help promote apprenticeships and skilled trades across Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Trudeau made the announcement prior to a roundtable meeting focused on promoting trades for women at a Nova Scotia Community College campus in Dartmouth, N.S.

In brief opening remarks before the closed-door session, Trudeau said trades should be seen as a viable option at a time when there’s “a lot of uncertainty” about where the jobs of the future will come from.

 

“We know that trades are a great career that offers professional development, continued advancement, and a level of satisfaction that is remarkable,” he said.

The Liberal government announced $6 million over two years in the 2019 budget to create a national campaign to promote skilled trades to young people.

However, Trudeau acknowledged that breaking into trades isn’t an easy proposition for many in the job market.

“There can be challenges for certain people to get into trades, particularly minority groups, or women, or marginalized communities. That’s why talking about how important trades are is important . . . for everyone.”

The advisory committee is to lay the groundwork for a national campaign to encourage apprenticeships and promote the skilled trades as a career. It will lead consultations, explore partnerships, and provide advice to the minister of employment, workforce development and labour.

Members named to the committee so far are the three co-chairs Mandy Rennehan, founder and CEO of Freshco, Jamie McMillan, ironworker and founder of Kickass Careers, and Matt Wayland, executive assistant with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. More members are to be named later.

According to the federal government Canada will need 67,000 new journeypersons to sustain the country’s workforce in the 10 largest standardized trades by 2023.

However, the number of young women in particular who are considering a career as a skilled tradesperson, continues to be low. The government points to an OECD survey that found only two per cent of 15-year-old female students were planning to pursue a career in the skilled trades.

Rennehan, said it’s a trend that has to change given that women represent just four per cent of the skilled trades workforce.

“Everybody needs to understand that four per cent needs to shoot to 40 per cent, and then we will be the front-runner in the world,” she said.

Emily Boucher, of the Nova Scotia-based non-profit group Techsploration, said her group has been working through a mentoring program to introduce girls in Grades 9 through 12 to in-demand careers in science, engineering, trades and technology since 1998.

Boucher said nearly one-fifth of the program’s graduates have found careers in construction trades.

She said there has been a “significant shift” over the past five to 10 years in how employers in the trades have come to see women as a potential source of labour.

Boucher welcomed the renewed emphasis by the federal and provincial governments on promoting the trades and women’s place in them. “A diverse workforce is a more productive workforce, so it directly impacts innovation and bottom line in Canada,” she said.