Ask the Councillor: How do I deter squirrels from my property? Why are my taxes paid over 10 months, not 12? Why do I have to pay for parking on Walkers Line at the trail entrance?

Resident D.C. asks: How do I deter squirrels from my property?

If you have a bird feeder, which sometimes attracts squirrels, you could add cayenne or chili pepper to the bird seed. The birds will not taste it, but the squirrels can. As well, homemade hot pepper sprays are often effective  squirrel deterrents. Mix a small bottle of hot sauce and a few drops of mild liquid dish detergent with  3L of water, pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the area the squirrels use such as along top of fences, at the base of the bird feeder etc. What you are doing is forcing the squirrels to look elsewhere. You could also try a product called Critter Ridder.

Resident L.S. asks: Why are my taxes paid over 10 months, not 12?

The city of Burlington offers a 10 month tax payment plan for the months January to October inclusive. There is no interest or penalty applied to this plan. The city collects taxes for three entities; the city, Halton Region and the Halton district school boards. Regardless of when the city collects the property tax payments, payment of taxes are mandated to be paid to the other entities throughout the year commencing in February 28th with final payment on September 30th.  The city’s portion of the overall 2016 residential tax bill is 42.5 cents of every tax dollar and the remaining 57.5 cents goes to Halton Region and the Province of Ontario for education taxes. The 10 month payment plan is consistent with the city’s tax payment requirements as well provides the benefit to the property owner of not paying two months prior to the holiday season.

Resident P.P. asks: Why do I have to pay for parking on Walkers Line at the trail entrance?

The parking lot at the corner of Walkers Line and #2 Sideroad is part of Mt Nemo Conservation Area, operated by Conservation Halton.  It will accommodate approximately 25 cars.  There will be fees to park, consistent with admission charges at the rest of CH’s parks at $6.75/adult and $5/child.  The road realignment and parking lot construction is to be completed by the end of July. The parking lot is currently open on weekends.  Fees will not be required until later this year or early 2018.

The charge is for entry into the Mt Nemo Conservation Area. The entry fee includes the cost of parking. If you are a regular visitor to Conservation Halton parks, consider purchasing an annual pass. Display the pass when you enter each park and parking is included.

Although the City is paying for most of the parking lot, Conservation Halton is responsible for installation of the trail head, gates and tree planting, as well as on going maintenance and snow removal of the parking lot.  The fees will also be used to manage the trails within the Conservation Area.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.


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  1. My miniature schnauzer has the same question! Running at them while barking uncontrollably and angrily staring up at them as they run up the trees hasn’t worked for the 8 years she’s tried so far …

  2. Critter Ridder works on anything but squirrels- the huggers will say that Tabasco will make them scratch their eyes out – makes them pre-seasoned for Rob Johnson

  3. I eat squirrels. Message me, and we can arrange a time for me to come over. I have a really effective (and humane) way of catching squirrels.

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