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Council produces budget with 2.5 per cent increase

Prince Edward County ratepayers can expect to pay approximately $22 more per $100,000 assessment when the 2016 tax bills arrive. Residents who pay for water and wastewater will also see an increase of roughly $64.

“County Council has adopted a budget for 2016 that maintains service levels while minimizing tax increases,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff.

The operating budget of $48.1 million and capital budget of $44.9 million will require a net tax levy of $32.3 million. The 2016 budget is an overall increase of 4.1 per cent and requires a tax increase of 2.5 per cent.

Budgets for water and wastewater services were also adopted. Quaiff said these budgets reflect ongoing financial challenges including declining water consumption, increased operating costs, and substantial debt servicing costs for capital renewal. The 2016 rate increases will result in an 8.8 per cent increase for water rates and a 2.4 per cent increase for wastewater rates.

Rates are effective as of January 1, 2016. The average household will see an estimated annual increase of roughly $64 (for water and wastewater service) and $46 for households with water service only.

“The municipality maintains more than 1,000 kilometres of roadways, and reconstruction and rehabilitation continues to be a priority in 2016,” Quiaff said.

With a number of capital projects approved, the following roads and bridges are slated to see improvements in 2016:
-Picton Main Street
-County Road 1 (west of Melville Road)
-County Road 3 (County Road 28 to County Road 23)
-County Road 12
-Danforth Road
-Lucks Crossroad
-Belleville Street
-Union Road
-Allisonville Bridge

Additional highlights include the approval of several community grant applications. Specialized transit will be expanded to include one additional day of service per week.

Beginning in 2016, council meetings will be live-streamed as a way of increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of council’s decision-making process.

“I’m pleased to see a stable budget for 2016 that strikes a balance between investing in the community and investing in essential infrastructure projects,” said Quaiff.

Click here for full proposed budget summary

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Marnie says:

    Older folks will begin to avoid Picton as well, Chuck. Costs keep rising but many pensions are fixed. Who can afford this place now? It is fast becoming a playground for well-to-do retirees from outside the community.

  2. Jack Smith says:

    I have to agree with Chuck. Well spoken. In adding, if the rich want to live here and the County allows more housing let them pay the water bills not to be passed on to us local residents with low income that are finding it hard to live with high hydro and heating expenses etc. Lets not forget the elderly and ones with fixed income. I was one along with a lot of others that didn’t ask for a new water plant.

  3. Chuck says:

    This will ensure no new growth in Picton. Fewer jobs, lower tax base. No one is going to invest in a town that is sucking the life out of it’s residents for a basic need such as water. Young folks definitely will avoid Picton as they just cannot support the user fees.

  4. Susan says:

    These increases cannot continue annually. I don’t believe Council did their promise to review and receive community input. Why are we in such dire straits in comparison to others? This is killing any urban growth and development. We are always in trouble and the answers are always hit the rate payer.

  5. wevil says:

    would be nice to know the amount we pay the company that operates the sewage plant for the county.i am sure they make a tidy profit

  6. Sherri Therrien says:

    Our water rates are ridiculous. The base rate is 121.76. It will go up to 132.48 plus HST. The water coming in is 1.82 per cm, and going out is 2.76 which will increase to 2.83. Belleville base rate is 82.82. 1.56 per cm coming in and .78% of water consumption & base rate. People can’t afford to live in Picton. Water rates up, Hydro rates up. Taxes up. I work for the school board, I don’t get a raise not even the cost of living. I get .05% sept 2016. Time to sell my home and move I guess. Too bad.

  7. Mark says:

    I would like to see some information as to the number of litres of water that are being bulk purchased for rural uses. Volume, if it is water & waste water fees, impacts of providing that service and the direct operating costs related. I am also curious if privatization of the system has been looked at, removing it from direct municipal operation.

  8. Gary says:

    It was my understanding that a Council goal was to review water & wastewater services and costs as part of their strategic plan set last year when the new Council came in. Did that review and input ever take place? This report says an average $64 increase per user. But it also says an increase of 8.8% for water and a 2.4% increase for waste water. That’s a far cry from sixty four dollars when the annual bill for a family of 3-4 is presently $1500 – $2000 annually. What is the truth here? And why are operating costs increasing when consumption is dropping. And Council’s desire to encourage “more” water usage flies so much in the face of conservation and efforts to reduce climate change.

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