October 30, 2013

CVC to get 3% more from Erin

As published in The Erin Advocate

The Town of Erin will pay just 3% more to Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) next year, even though the average increase for member municipalities is 8.5%.

The difference is due to provincial revisions to property assessment values. Peel and Halton municipalities will have increases of more than 8.6%, while Orangeville, Mono and East Garafraxa will actually have small reductions in their levies.

CVC collects more than $20.4 million, 96.1% from the Region of Peel and its local municipalities (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon). Erin will contribute $64,649 in 2014, representing .3% of CVC revenue.

Deborah Martin-Downs, who recently took over as CVC’s Chief Administrative Officer, appeared as a delegation before Erin Town Council, along with Corporate Services Director Gerry Robin, to present details of the CVC’s 2014 budget request.

“You are getting good value for your dollars,” said Robin, noting that CVC spent $172,742 in Erin this year, and may spend $318,431 here next year.

Erin and other municipalities in the Credit River Watershed pay an annual levy to support the CVC. Unlike in previous years, Erin has not been given the option of paying an additional levy to support extra local projects, which they declined to pay last year.

CVC work in Erin involves support for the Servicing and Settlement Master Plan (SSMP) and the Wastewater Assimilative Capacity that will control new housing development. It also includes maintenance of the Elora Cataract Trailway, monitoring streamflow, water quality and other environmental factors, restoration of natural areas, education, and supporting Source Water Protection for municipal wells.

CVC has had a drop in the proportion of revenue for program budgets that it raises on its own, including user fees, from 10% to 8%, and a decrease from 5% to 2% in the proportion covered by provincial and federal grants. To partly make up for this, 4% more is being collected from the general levy on municipalities.

Watershed areas do not match political boundaries, so municipalities often support more than one conservation authority. Peel also supports Toronto Region, and Erin also supports the Grand River Conservation Authority.

The mandate of the CVC is to ensure adequate water quantity in its territory, and to protect and enhance water quality, for both environmental and human needs. It cares for ecosystems, protecting and enhancing both plant and animal life, in the water and on land.

It protects public safety, minimizing damage from natural hazards, and promotes social and economic health through water management.

“To manage the watershed, one must manage the lands in the watershed and we have many studies that show that planting trees, retrofitting older communities with stormwater management, restoring wetlands, protecting natural heritage systems, they can all positively affect issues of flood protection, erosion of streams and water quality improvement,” said Martin-Downs.

“These are all things that we need to take very seriously given the recent storms that we’ve been experiencing. I think Erin has a lot to boast about in terms of a healthy watershed and healthy communities, so keep up the good work.”