17 Jan

County Council passes 2019 budgets

Picton – Prince Edward County Council approved the 2019 municipal budgets today following four days of special meetings.

“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,” says Steve Ferguson, Mayor, County of Prince Edward. “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.”

County Council approved the following tax-supported budgets:

• Municipal operating budget of $54.4 million
• Capital budget of $13.9 million

Overall, the 2019 budget tax increase after taking real assessment growth into consideration  is 2.71%.

In addition, Council approved two individual tax levies to support key priority areas:

• A 1% tax levy dedicated to fund the $4.5 million commitment for the redevelopment of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.
• A 2.5% capital tax levy 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 %, with a 5.02 % increase for residential properties.

The impact of the 2019 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

“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,” Mayor Ferguson says. “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.”

Budget Highlights

• $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

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For media inquiries, please contact Mark Kerr at 613.476.2148 ext. 1009 or by email at mkerr@pecounty.on.ca