Dunham takes doubled budget into 2022

By Ruby Irene Pratka – Local Journalism Initiative

The town of Dunham presented its 2022 budget at a brief virtual council meeting broadcast on Facebook Live on the evening of Dec. 20.

The 2022 budget is based on revenues of just over $11 million – nearly twice those of the previous year’s budget. Director general Maxime Boissonneault explained to BCN that the additional money was sourced from various provincial and regional subsidies, including more than $2.1 million from the Quebec Transport Ministry for local road infrastructure and $990,000 toward the construction of a new fire station.

The town’s coffers also received a boost from property transfer fee revenues. “We budgeted for $175,000 in [property transfer fee revenues] in 2021 and in fact, revenues were closer to $440,000, so we modified the budget to plan for $430,000 in transfer fee revenues,” Boissonneault explained.

In addition to the construction of the new fire station (estimated at a total cost of $2.68 million), plans are also in place to expand the town’s sewage network, overhaul certain roads, build a salt depot at the municipal garage and create a new park near the town hall. The town also anticipates building a new tennis court and mountain bike circuit (“pump track”), and boat-washing station and adding a new instructive speed radar device, “conditional to the obtention of the relevant subsidies,” according to documentation provided by the city. The city will also spend just over $46,000 to put in place and maintain public walking paths and hiking trails.

Boissonneault added that the town plans to hire an additional building inspector and invest further in tourism projects, including the Maison des Vins, and in the Rue Principale revitalization plan, which was first proposed in 2018.

“The coming year will be a loaded one in terms of projects for our city…in order to bring back its momentum in the short and medium term,” Mayor Pierre Janecek told La Voix de l’Est.

Boissonneault said new property tax and service fee regulations would be adopted at a council meeting on Jan. 11. According to proposed regulations visible on the town website, industrial buildings will be taxed at $0.96 per $100 of assessed property value; registered agricultural facilities at $0.66, non-residential buildings at $0.86 and “residential and other” at $0.70. Fees for septic tank emptying will be fixed at $208.88 and sewage maintenance fees will be $237.11 for the Lake Selby sector and $184.48 for the Village sector. Residents and owners of agricultural facilities will pay $69.27 for waste removal; business owners will pay $350.

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