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Council passes 2024 City Budget with 2.99% net levy increase

'This budget will continue to move our City forward,' said Mayor Terry Ugulini
Thorold City Hall.

On Tuesday evening, Thorold City Council approved the 2024 City Budget, with a 2.99% net levy increase, which equals $52 for the average residential home valued at $273,600.

Last week, budget deliberations kicked off, as councillors discussed new hires as well as the dwindling city reserves.

Yesterday, during the second night of deliberations, several community groups took to the podium to make their budget requests.

Kakekalanicks president Michele-Elise Burnett gave a presentation on the Indigenous Unity Garden in Mel Swart Park and how the One Thorold Indigenous Committee is hoping to strengthen their programming in the outdoor classroom.

“We’ll be adding phase one of the sonic Indigenous trail tour to reignite and regenerate the lands our Indigenous ancestors walked before us,” Burnett told council members. “The trail is a QR-code based audio installation, a journey to reawaken the senses and reconnect with our natural world.”

Outside of their usual programming at the garden, the One Thorold Indigenous Committee is looking to bring an Indigenous presence to the city’s Canada Day celebrations in Battle of Beaverdams Park this year.

Also present at last night's meeting was Gene Citrigno, who is the president of the Thorold Soccer Club. He made a plea for a brand new turf field in Thorold.

“We need it as soon as possible,” Citrigno told council members. “Our fields cannot take the heavy amount of traffic it’s been getting in the last few years.”

Citrigno pointed to the growing membership of the club, which currently has around 550 kids enroled. 

Due to poor weather conditions, the club often has to cancel practice at the grass soccer fields of C. E. Grose Park and Confederations Heights South Park.

“It is embarrassing for us and the City of Thorold,” said Citrigno. “We have teams coming from out of town and we have to call them at the last minute to let them know they can’t come down to play because the field is just not playable.”

Councillors all voiced their support for the club and pledged $19,000 in the 2024 City Budget for the upkeep of the city’s soccer facilities.

They also asked City Hall staff to undertake a preliminary design study, and to come back with a report on possible locations and costs of a new turf field.

To end budget deliberations with the 2.99% net levy increase that they started with, council decided to delay the hiring of a procurement officer with one month, and the budget of the Thorold Community Market was reduced with $5,000.

Some of the major infrastructure projects included in this year's budget are the new mausoleum and administration building at Lakeview Cemetery, as well as the second phases of the St. Davids Rd reconstruction and the Broderick Ave reconstruction. The stretch of DeCew Rd from Richmond St to Ivy Cres is also set to receive some love this year.

“I would like to thank City Council and Staff for their dedication and commitment throughout the 2024 budget process,” said Mayor Terry Ugulini, in a press release. “This budget will continue to move our City forward, while delivering the required infrastructure and services to our residents and businesses.”

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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