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County sets budgets and levies for 2019

Prince Edward County Council approved its 2019 municipal budgets today following four days of special meetings. The impact of the budget is an annual municipal tax increase of approximately $44.39 for each $100,000 in assessed MPAC property value.

“We are committed in 2019 to maintaining service levels and investing in key priorities like roads and bridges, a new hospital, affordable housing, and food insecurity,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “A tax increase is required, a decision that council did not take lightly. We have done our best to keep costs down and limit the impact to taxpayers by looking at every single line item expense and request for funds.”

Council approved a municipal operating budget of $54.4 million and a capital budget of $13.9 million. The combined municipal operating budget and capital budget, he said, require a tax increase of 2.71 per cent after taking assessment growth into consideration.

In addition, council approved two individual tax levies to support key priority areas. A 1 per cent tax levy is dedicated to fund the $4.5 million commitment for the redevelopment of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. A 2.5 per cent capital tax levy is to increase the funding available for improving the County’s roads and bridges.

Overall, the 2019 budget tax increase after assessment growth is 6.31 per cent, with a 5.02 per cent increase for residential properties. The impact of the budget is an annual municipal tax increase of approximately $44.39 for each $100,000 in assessed MPAC property value.

Council also approved the following budgets funded by water and wastewater rates and connection charges:
– Water operating budget of $4.0 million
– Wastewater operating budget of $4.1 million
– Water and wastewater capital budget of $7.7 million

Additional highlights of the 2019 approved budgets include:
– $8.6 million in roads and bridge projects, including additional funding for Talbot Street reconstruction, construction of part of a new connecting road between Highway 33 and Talbot Street, sidewalk illumination along County Road 22, lighting enhancements at the intersection of Johnson Street and McDonald Drive in Picton, various road surface treatment work and sidewalk construction and reconstruction.
– Continued investment of $250,000 in affordable housing.
– $3.4 million for the construction of a new water tower in Wellington to meet growing demand.
– $357,000 for community, recreation, and heritage grants.
– Renewal of the Farming Assistance Grant Program for 2019 with $40,000 set aside in the budget.
– Additional staffing complement to meet the growing demand for bylaw enforcement and fire prevention activities.
– $20,000 for initiatives to address food insecurity

“To achieve true financial sustainability, it is imperative over the next four years that council and staff work together to find new ways of doing business and operating more efficiently,” said Ferguson. “We will determine our strategic priorities in the next few months and align future budgets according to this plan.

“Furthermore, we will develop a plan to manage our municipal assets, which will assist in the delivery of affordable and sustainable services for generations to come.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. How do they expect people on fixed incomes to absorb these outrageous tax increases! … They are forcing people to move or sell their homes!! Unsustainable!!

  2. Snowman says:

    Union contracts and M.T.O. restrictions on hours of non stop driving come into play. Glad I don’t work for Mike or Susan.
    No one can be forced into 60 hr. work weeks or be fired,esp. in a union environment.
    It will be cheaper to hire part time drivers for 8 hrs a day for three months per year with more trucks, than to pay out 300% increases to outside contractors.
    The County used to hire stand-by (on call) part time drivers, 10-15 years ago. Trucks wear out and new Department Heads didn’t like the work/responsibility of managing the part timers.

  3. Susan says:

    Simple. Job requirement. Lot’s of folks would take the County pay. County needs to manage the issue, not enployees!

  4. Mike Rodgers says:

    I do think you can force people to work extra hours here in Ontario. Its not like the old days, our pass governments have made it a haven for employees to keep a job doing just the minimum. It seems most people do not need the money any more.

  5. Susan says:

    Simple, you put those requirements in the job spec if it is not already. Then the employee does the work or you separate the employment relationship.

  6. Mike Rodgers says:

    Interesting article in the Wellington Times this week. The break down of tax increases are interesting. Smoke and mirrors do wonders. One thing of interest, during the election the snow plowing fiasco was in full gear. I asked on the street a councilor why the county contracted out snow plowing in the first place.His reply was that they at the time could not get the county employees to work the hours required during snow storms. My question to him was why does county council now think they should buy their own trucks, do they think that they will get employee support this time around.He said he was not in favor of new trucks because he was sure that there was not the support there from the employees. He was not re elected and now the council are going to spend 2 mi to see if the support is there. OMG

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