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

By Glenn Hendry

Published on February 14, 2022 at 5:08 p.m.

Clarington Council unanimously approved a 2022 budget that will limit the tax increase to 2.11%, or about $33 per year for a home valued at $400,000.

“Council has worked together to create a fiscally responsible budget that supports the costs of delivering 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 which will total nearly $100 million this year.

The $99.18 million capital investment approved in the budget includes improvements to the Newcastle Memorial Arena, Orono Arena and Community Center, improvements to the Courtice Shores Drive crossing and a new facility at South Bowmanville which is expected to cost over $60 million.

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

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

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

These external organizations will receive funding of $712,600 in 2022.

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

Other highlights of the 2022 budget:

  • $655,000 for various improvements to Clarington Park, a portion of which will be funded through the tax levy.
  • $280,000 for the rehabilitation of Newcastle Lion’s Trail.
  • $105,000 for Clarington Fields upgrades.
  • $100,000 for wading pool resurfacing across Clarington.
  • $2.2 million for the rehabilitation of various structures, including buildings and bridges, part of which will be financed by the tax levy.
  • $180,000 for the replacement of municipal sidewalks.
  • $300,000 to improve accessible crossing signals at intersections in various areas.
  • $734,000 for improvements to the Cobbledick Road crossing (in addition to the previously approved $750,000.
  • $6.4 million to replace arena floors at Orono Arena and Community Center and Newcastle Memorial Arena; be financed by debenture.
  • An estimated $61 million for a new recreation complex in South Bowmanville.
  • Approximately $7 million for the Courtice Shores Drive crossing improvements funded by development charges.

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