King's 2024 Budget was presented to council for review.
• Fill A Purse for a Sister – Huge thank you to the players of the U13 AA King Rebellion Hockey Team - ranked #1 in North America!! – who delivered over 20 purses filled with personal necessities for women in crisis for the Fill A Purse for a Sister campaign.
• Trees of Giving – On now until Sat, Dec 16 at the King Township Heritage & Cultural Centre. Stroll through the ‘Festive Forest’ as part of the annual #TreesOfGiving fundraiser. Visitors are invited to vote on their favourite decorated tree by making a $2 donation with proceeds given to the Oak Ridges Trails Association for their help in upkeeping public trails in King.
• Main St. Christmas – Held Dec. 2 with the parade starting at 4pm and many other festivities including carolers, carriage rides, live entertainment, Christmas Market plus the cavalcade of lights. Click here for more.
• Nobleton Tree Lighting – Held Dec. 3 at the Gazebo in Nobleton from 4:30 – 7:30 featuring Santa, face painting, holiday crafts, festive treats, musical performances by local students and many farmers bring their tractors decked out in lights.
• Please Shop Local! – Please remember to support King’s local businesses. There are lots of ways to do this including buying gift cards, shopping online, leaving a positive review. Visit www.king.ca/shopking
• Winter Recreation Programs – King Community Service Program offers indoor and outdoor activities as well as PA Day and March Break Camps. Registration opens at 7am on December 4th. Click here for more.
• Heritage Information Workshops – This is an opportunity for learning about heritage conservation in King. There last of three free workshops led by the Heritage Advisory Committee together with the townships heritage team will be at the Nobleton Library on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 7 to 8 pm. Click here to learn more.
• 360 Kids – Thursday, February 29th, 2024 starting at 7 pm, participants can choose to join us in-person or virtually for an overnight experience that will last until 1 am or 6 am. With both options, participants can choose to sleep outside in the cold, or they can participate in a virtual experience from their backyard, garage, or car. The 360°Experience is not for the faint of heart, but it's an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for a critical cause while experiencing what it is like to be a youth experiencing homelessness. Click here for more.
• Vehicle Theft - York Region is giving away Faraday bags. If you have a newer car you can put your key fob in the bag and it blocks the signal from theft. To protect yourself against vehicle theft, park in the garage if possible, don't leave key fobs by the door and store away from vehicle (or in free faraday bag!), use a steering wheel or locking device, install security cameras in your home.
• Gill Watt passed away November 20th. Gill would always sit at council and was a devoted CCKT board member for well over forty years. A gathering of friends is being planned by Gill’s husband, Gavin, and the Watt family for Friday, December 8th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the King City Seniors Centre, 1970 King Road, King City. Everyone is welcome to attend.
• Helen Lucas passed away November 27th. A renowned artist, Helen's work is featured in The King City Library and the Heritage Centre. Visit www.helenlucas.com
• On Request Busing - Residents of Schomberg, Nobleton, Pottageville and King City can now book a round trip between their home and Seneca College or King City GO Station, as part of YRT’s new On-Request APP. Customers can book, track and manage their trips on the new YRT On-Request App, available for free on the App Store and Google Play.
Service hours are weekdays between 5:30am - 9:30 a.m. and 4p, - 8pm. Regular YRT fares apply. Book your trip on the APP or by calling 1-844-667-5327. Click here for more.
2024 King Budget Review
The 2024 Budget was officially presented to council (we received an advance copy a few weeks ago). It will be voted on at the December 11th meeting.
King Taxes 101
- Property taxes are based on the assessed value as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). Only 39% of taxes that you pay go to King Township to fund most of your everyday services such as waste collection, park and road maintenance, snow removal, fire and emergency services. Of the remaining 61%, 42% goes to York Region to fund policing, social services, and public health. The other 19% goes to the school board that you support.
- King uses your tax dollar to clean and maintain parks, remove snow, sweep streets, upgrade equipment and build new infrastructure like the township wide recreation centre as well as bridges and culverts. King also delivers services like facility rentals, ice and sport field bookings, parks and horticulture maintenance, recreational programs, public library, parking enforcement, fire and emergency services and more.
Download a copy of the entire budget here:
- The increase will fund the extra cost of base operations which haev gone up as a result of inflation, increased contract costs, decrease in development charges (more on that below), fuel increases, labour contracts, and others. The increase will also fund nine new Full Time Equivalent jobs to ensure the town maintains or improves service levels.
Here’s my summary of the key takeaways:
- A tax increase of 5.49% is being recommended by staff. This may seem like a lot, but over the last five years King has averaged just 2.74% which doesn’t even keep up with the 3%+ inflation. This is also in line with similar increases being proposed by other municipalities in York Region and York Region itself:
- The increase will fund the extra cost of base operations which have gone up as a result of inflation, increased contract costs, decrease in development charges (more on that below), fuel increases, labour contracts, and others. The increase will also fund nine new Full Time Equivalent jobs to ensure the town maintains or improves service levels.
- The major issue for the township has been the giant decrease in Development Charge (DC) revenue which was to have funded several programs and infrastructure projects. DCs are a one-time fee collected from developers when they register new units and are meant to help pay for growth. The impact of high interest rates, however, has caused the development industry to slow. King had expected to receive $5.5million in DCs this year but instead received just $700,000 (12.7%).
- DCs are collected based on the strict guidelines in Ontario's Development Charge Act. The Act details what can be collected, and how much can be spent on certain projects. Following is how each DC dollar is split between King's services based on a residential unit in King City. The split is different for Nobleton, Schomberg and Rural units, but only marginally. Non-residential units have a different split.
> Services Related to a Highway (ie: roads) 44%
> Parking Services 0%
> Fire Protection 2%
> Parks and Recreation Services 30%
> Library Services 4%
> Growth Services 1%
> Stormwater Services 1%
> Water Services 7%
> Water and Wastewater Studies 1%
> Wastewater Services King City 9%
- Since Roads receive the lion's share of this money, one of the biggest impacts of the decline of DCs on Ward 3 is that all gravel road conversions previously scheduled have been delayed at least one year. Recall that gravel road conversions are 90% funded by DCs and only 10% by your tax dollars. Of the $5.5m in DCs the town had anticipated receiving, $720,000 had been allocated to gravel road conversion, but that has been cut to $90,000 which will be spent on completing two previously approved projects. It’s not just roads that got cut, many, many previously planned projects have been cut or pushed out including:
- Nobleton Expansion moved to 2026 / 2027
- Reduced Active Transportation from $500k to $75K
- Reduced Transportation Master Plan from $300k to $125K
- Reduced Traffic Calming from $150K to $60K
- Expansion of Nobleton & King City Fire Hall moved from 2025/2026 to 2027 / 2028
Parks (Majority of Parks removed in 2024 & 2025) Moved to 2026-2028
- New Sports Park including club house - $5M moved to 2026-2028
- King Southwest Park $700K moved to 2026-2027
- King City St. Andrews Park moved to 2026-2027
- Maidenstone park moved to 2025 (design) and 2026 (construction)
- Schomberg park moved to 2025 (design) and 2026 (construction)
This chart shows the Road DCs that King has collected and spent over the last five years. The spike in 2021 reflects the units in King City east where the developer chose to pre-pay. The previous council approved that the majority of that be spent on widening and paving the 10th and 15th which you can see in the large expense in 2023.
I continue to ask questions of staff and welcome hearing your thoughts on this budget.
Ward 2 – Councillor Boyd - Sunday is the Nobleton Tree Lighting starting at 4:30pm. The free, family-friendly event, located at 8 Sheardown Drive, features selfies with Santa, face painting, holiday crafts, musical performances, and festive treats. Learn more here.
Ward 3 – Councillor Anstey - I just learned of King’s FREE battery recycling program. You can bring your batteries into the Municipal office or the Trisan Centre where they will be properly disposed of. Old batteries can still hold small charges and when kept together have been known to cause a fire so are important to dispose of!
Ward 4 – Councillor Asselstine - Christmas Carol Reading on Dec. 16th at the Presbyterian Church in Schomberg. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids and can be purchased here.
Ward 5 – Councillor Schaefer commented about three events that she had the pleasure of attending. First was the Voices for Peace at the Ahmadiyya Mosque Community on Jane Street. This event featured representatives from Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths and while each spoke different from different holy documents, each talked about what peace means, how it implies respect for the other and about love. She also attended the Trees & Treats and Annual Roast Beef Dinner hosted by the King City Lion’s which were also marvelous events.
Ward 6 – The first public meeting for the Highway 11 Corridor Study was held and very well attended. This has been a long-neglected area of the township, a lot having to do with previous policies and attitudes. She’s looking forward to continuing to work with staff, residents, businesses and others to help inform this study. Learn more here.