At its budget meeting Sarnia City Council approved a $145.3 million budget for 2019.

Approved 2019 Operating Budget including General, Police, and Transit, with the total property taxation amount of $78.3 million, an increase of 3.35% versus 2018. 

Approved 2019 Water Rates Budget is $16,476,009, representing a 3.17% increase versus 2018. Sewer (Sanitary and Storm) Rates Budget is $18,229,353, representing a 3.66% increase versus 2018. 

Approved 2018 Capital Budget in the amount of $29,789,300.  36 capital projects were approved including:

  1. Oversized Load Corridor – $1,285,000;
  2. Emergency Fire Apparatus – Heavy Water Tower & Platform –  $1,000,000;
  3. Road Resurfacing/Reconstruction – $2,000,000;
  4. Rehabilitation Various Structures (Bridges & Culverts) – $1,000,000;
  5. Donohue Bridge – $1,500,000;
  6. Sarnia Sewer Upgrade Project – $7,500,000;
  7. Sewer Separation – $2,000,000;
  8. Watermain, Sanitary & Storm Sewer Replacement (Various Locations) – $3,200,000;
  9. Corrosion Protection Program – $1,200,000;
  10. Police Services Radio Communication System – $2,761,300.

Fees for Services are charged to users that benefit from the service. 2019 highlights include:

  • A charge for issuing a refund for overpayments or transfer errors after the second incident;
  • Tax Certificates $55 (+10%), Tax Certificate on Demand $75 (+15%) and Ownership Change Notice $32 (+28%);
  • A new service of installing a clean-out on a sanitary lateral (waste water pipe) – $833 to be phased in over three years to a final fee of $2,500;
  • A new service, Trenchless Service Line Repair is being offered for the repair of a lateral (pipe) on private property – $1,000;
  • Relocation of Temporary Water Connection $150 (+43%) and Testing of Backflow Preventer fees have been significantly increased due to operator training requirements $125 (+20%);
  • New Sarnia Transit fees for Care-A-Van and Conventional Bus Passes – Daily Family Pass $14.50, Weekly Pass $24.50, and Senior Pass $60;
  • New Parks & Recreation fees – Set Up & Take Down day rental fee for Anchor Events and Festivals $250, Germain Park Japanese Garden  Wedding $35 per hour, and Art/Craft Vendor Centennial Park $125;
  • Building and By-Law Enforcement fees have generally been increased by 2% to adjust for cost of living;
  • Parking passes at the Victoria St. municipal lot are reduced by 50%;
  • Addition of a fee for cone and barricade drop off and pickup;
  • Formalized the fees for commemorative benches and trees.

Approved a total of $ $72,566 in grants, as follows:

  • Sarnia Lambton Taskforce on Healthcare Worker Recruitment – $72,366
  • Lambton Farm Safety Association – $200

The next Regular Council Meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 21.