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Meaford's council brought the annual budget season to an end on March 25, when they gave final approval to the 2019 municipal budgets, which will see an increase for ratepayers this year of 2.7 percent.

At the statutory public meeting held earlier this month, just two residents attended, and neither had any comments or issues to express to council about the budget.

Meaford Treasurer, Darcy Chapman was pleased to have the budget process completed.

I'm very happy that we're through this process, and we can move on. I know that a number of staff have been waiting for the budget to be finalized before we can get into a lot of our annual operating and capital purchases,” Chapman told reporters after Monday's meeting. “I think it's a budget that very much speaks to the demand for infrastructure renewal, and that's certainly not a bad thing.”

Mayor Barb Clumpus was pleased with the final budgets.

I think it's a good budget, I think it was very thoroughly examined,” Mayor Clumpus told The Independent after council had approved the budget. “It was a hard grind, there was a lot of really good discussion. There was obviously a lot of thorough examination of each and every line item. I'm happy with it being close to three percent, I would have been happy with three percent because of next year; it's going to be a struggle going forward.”

Current projections for 2020 suggest that as much as a nine percent increase could be required next year.

The 2.7 percent rate increase for property owners will cost the average single family dwelling roughly $60 more in 2019. Users of the municipal water and wastewater services will see increases of 1.69 percent for water, and 3.43 percent for sewer rates.