Clarington approves 2022 budget, including $99 million in capital investment

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Published February 14, 2022 at 5:08 pm

Clarington Council has unanimously approved a 2022 Budget that will limit the tax levy increase to 2.11 per cent, about $33 a year on a home assessed at $400,000.

“Council worked together to create a fiscally responsible budget that supports the costs of providing services and manages Clarington’s growth,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster, who said the document will “help shape Clarington’s future and invest in projects that matter to our residents.”

The municipal budget will support Clarington’s current service delivery and major capital infrastructure that will be nearly $100 million this year.

Capital investment of $99.18 million approved in the budget includes improvements to the Newcastle Memorial Arena, the Orono Arena and Community Centre, upgrades to the Courtice Shores Drive grade crossing, and a new South Bowmanville facility that is expected to cost more than $60 million.

The South Bowmanville Recreation Complex is Clarington’s largest new capital investment and will include a pool, twin pad arena, a gymnasium and walking track, and administrative space. It will be built in a single phase and paid through debenture and financed, in part, by development charges.

“As Clarington’s population continues to grow, this new complex will help support the recreation needs of our community,” said Foster, noting that a recent census shows Clarington is the fastest growing community in Durham. “Our population has grown by 10.2 per cent since 2016 (so) this complex is a much-needed community amenity that will help support a great quality of life for residents.”

The operating budget pays for the day-to-day expenses and totals more than $60.3 million in 2022. It covers the costs of various Clarington services, including emergency and fire services, winter snow maintenance, recreation facility operations and program delivery, library services, external agencies supported by Council, and more.

Those external agencies will receive $712,600 in funding in 2022.

The largest impact on Clarington’s operating budget continues to be the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for recreation programs in the first half of 2022 is low, with program capacity currently at 50 per cent levels, but as restrictions continue to ease and public confidence grows, the municipality expects to return to normal capacity and program levels by the end of the year.

Other highlights of the 2022 budget:

  • $655,000 for various Clarington park upgrades, a portion of which will be funded through the tax levy.
  • $280,000 for the rehabilitation of Newcastle Lion’s Trail.
  • $105,000 for upgrades to Clarington Fields.
  • $100,000 for splash pad resurfacing across Clarington.
  • $2.2 million for rehabilitation of various structures, including buildings and bridges, a portion of which will be funded through the tax levy.
  • $180,000 for municipal sidewalk replacement.
  • $300,000 for accessible crossing signal upgrades at intersections in various areas.
  • $734,000 for Cobbledick Road railway crossing improvements (in addition to the $750,000 approved earlier.
  • $6.4 million to replace the arena floors at Orono Arena and Community Centre and the Newcastle Memorial Arena; to be funded by debenture.
  • An estimated $61 million for a new South Bowmanville Recreation Complex.
  • An estimated $7 million for Courtice Shores Drive grade crossing improvements funded from development charges.
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