The streak is over: Windsor ups property taxes by 1.73%

After eight years without tax increases, property taxes in Windsor will go up for 2017.

First property tax increase in eight years approved by city council on Monday night

Councillors Irek Kusmierczyk, Bill Marra and Paul Borrelli during Monday's late night 2017 budget meeting. (Rob Heydari/CBC)

Windsor city council approved a property tax increase of 1.73 per cent for 2017 after a marathon meeting that lasted 11 hours on Monday night.

The increase is less than city staff's recommended tax increase of 2.7 per cent. 

Councillors Fred Francis, Hilary Payne and Chris Holt during Monday night's council meeting. (CBC News)

It comes after both city administration and Mayor Drew Dilkens said another tax increase of zero would not be sustainable and would result in significant impacts to city services. 

Councillors Fred Francis and Jo-Anne Gignac voted against the 1.73 per cent property tax increase, though both admitted a zero increase would have been difficult.

A $10 million enhanced capital budget was presented by Dilkens.

The 2017 enhanced capital budget, as presented by Mayor Drew Dilkens. (CBC News)

It included $1 million for the Wyandotte Town Centre BIA's 'World Marketplace' proposal, and $1.2 million for reconstruction of Tranby Avenue. Dilkens' capital budget passed at 1:30 a.m., with only Councillor Rino Bortolin voting against it.

Mayor Drew Dilkens gestures to Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk during the debate on the 2017 capital budget. (Rob Heydari/CBC)

Adventure Bay didn't escape the microscope, with council spending close to half an hour on a single line item adding $50,000 to the waterpark's advertising budget. The additional cash was eventually left in the budget, bringing total annual marketing costs for Adventure Bay to $200,000 in 2017.

A line adding $40,000 to the Fire & Rescue budget to pay for ice and inland water rescue was rejected. Fire chief Bruce Montone explained to council that the additional funding was needed to cover specialty pay for firefighters responding to emergencies on ice or water.

Currently, Windsor firefighters can only rescue people from the shore and need to call neighbouring municipalities for assistance if a rescue involves water or ice.  Council rejected the additional funding, after a debate that included Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac asking if drones could substitute for firefighters in those situations.