Picton, ON – Council approved today the 2022 tax-supported operating budget of $67.0 million. The tax-supported 2022 capital budget of $18.6 million was adopted by Council in December 2021.
“The 2022 operating budget supports the delivery of a wide range of programs and services. Throughout the budget process, members of Council and staff did their utmost to balance the priorities of our community while at the same time addressing areas of significant concern such as the physician shortage and road rehabilitation,” Mayor Steve Ferguson says.
The municipal operating budget includes a 5.52 per cent tax increase or 3.81 per cent after assessment growth. The 2022 operating budget will result in an estimated increase of $33.07 on an average assessment of $100,000.
Council also passed the rate-supported operating budget for water and wastewater services of $10.4 million. Water and wastewater rates will continue to follow the rate schedule set by Council in 2021.
Physician recruitment funding boosted
County Council allocated $150,000 in 2022 to support physician recruitment, which is intended to improve Prince Edward County’s competitive position in attracting family doctors.
During the budget deliberations, Council received advice from the Physician Recruitment and Retention Working Group and the Prince Edward Family Health Team (PEFHT) on attracting five new physicians to Prince Edward County over the next five years. The County would offer a $100,000 incentive to physicians, which would be paid out over five years in return for a minimum of five years of service. An additional $50,000 would go to the PEFHT as part of an agreement to support recruiting and marketing efforts.
Municipal Financial Relief Program created
County Council also approved a pilot program to support low-income households in Prince Edward County.
Households will be able to apply to one of two streams of the Municipal Financial Relief Program:
- Qualifying tenants who pay for water and wastewater services can apply for a credit of up to $250 on their water bill.
- Qualifying home owners can apply for a credit of up to $500 on their property tax account.
The County Foundation will administer the pilot program on behalf of the municipality. Funds from the program will come from unspent community grant money in the 2021 municipal operating budget. Intake for the program is expected to open May 15, 2022. More information will be shared when the details are finalized.
Additional Budget Highlights
- $843,824 transferred to the reserve to fund road work in future years, with $220,000 of that total coming from higher than expected Municipal Accommodation Tax revenue.
- $200,000 in additional funding for the maintenance of gravel (loose top) roads.
- $412,000 toward the redevelopment of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in 2022, the latest installment of the $4.5 million pledge that the municipality made in 2018.
- $150,000 to support the operations of the Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation.
- $243,169 in total for the three streams of the Municipal Community Grants Program administered by The County Foundation ($189,716 for grants over $5,000; $38,453 for in-kind grants; and, $15,000 for grants under $5,000)
The final budget documents will be posted on the County website next week.
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For media inquiries, please contact Mark Kerr, Communications and Consultation Supervisor, at 613.476.2148 ext. 1009 or by email at email@example.com