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Monday, April 1, 2019

Goderich Mayor Says Financial Efficiency Reason For Zero-Increase Budget

Goderich | by Peter Jackson  

John Grace points to doctor recruitment, strong recreation facilities as reason for 0% tax increase for 2019.

Goderich Mayor John Grace last year was elected, after campaigning on a platform of financial efficiency.

In March, Council passed a municipal budget with a zero-increase for the first time in many years.

Grace tells Country 104.9 News that the town boasts a number of advantages to help keep costs down, including health care and infrastructure.

He says Goderich is a leader in doctor recruitment, and that the Maitland Valley Family Health Centre is a worthwhile investment.

Grace points to a legacy that includes improved streets, and upgrades to the harbour to boost turnaround times for large ships loading and unloading cargo.

He also mentions the quality of Goderich's recreation facilities, with the scheduled opening this summer of the Bannister Park complex.

Still to be solved are the fate of neighbouring Memorial Arena, and whether the Maitland Rec Centre might add a second ice pad to replace the one lost at Memorial.

The ammonia-based refrigeration system at Memorial was shut down in 2018, because of concern over its age and deteriorating condition.

While the municipal portion of the Goderich property tax bill doesn't increase, ratepayers are still looking at a $134 hike because of assessment growth.

The Huron County and school board levies may also affect what property owners in Goderich pay this year.

Grace says Goderich is "in a pretty good spot" financially.

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