The County of Prince Edward has adopted a capital budget of $19.9 million for 2023, following the decisions made at the February 24 operating budget meeting.
The capital budget pays for the repair, construction, and replacement of roads, bridges, emergency vehicles, and other assets that the municipality depends on to deliver quality services and programs.
“Investing in municipal assets each year is critical so that we can continue to best serve the community,” Mayor Steve Ferguson says. “I commend Council and staff for working together to develop a capital plan that prioritizes the most critical work while respecting the fiscal constraints that we face.”
Council approved the next phase of the Picton Main Street reconstruction from Johnson Street to Spencer Street. The road reconstruction portion of the project is $5.9 million, while the water and wastewater work portion is $6.4 million.
Additional highlights from the 2023 capital budget include:
- $3.0 million for rural road surface maintenance program
- $102,000 for improving pedestrian access to the dynamic beach system in the western area of the municipality (Huyck’s Point Road north to Arthur Road). Further enhancements will take place should the municipality be successful in a federal funding application.
- $215,000 to improve several municipal buildings and facilities such as accessibility upgrades, modernized audio-visual equipment, roof replacements, and minor foundation repairs.
- $650,000 for the replacement of a fire pumper tanker
In addition to adopting the 2023 capital plan, Council began the process of creating a working group to strategize and advocate for the rehabilitation of County Road 49, including meeting with the appropriate provincial and federal ministry representatives. Council also directed staff to review the multi-year plan for replacing fire fleet and bring a revised plan back to Council in the second quarter of 2023.
The municipality pays for capital work through:
- Reserves, the municipality’s “savings accounts” where tax dollars are set aside each year for future costs
- Development charges and other growth-related revenue
- Funding from other levels of governments
- Tourism-related revenue collected through the Municipal Accommodation Tax
- Long-term debt
A complete list of approved 2022 capital projects with funding sources can be found on the County website.
Water and wastewater capital budget
Council also approved the water and wastewater capital budget of $25.1 million. Of this budget, $8.2 million is set aside for the construction in Wellington of new sewermain trunks.
A majority of the water and wastewater budget is debt financed. There is no additional impact to the rate-supported 2023 operating budget or water rates due to debt repayment because of up-front financing agreements. A complete list of 2023 water and wastewater capital projects can be found on the County website.
Council passed a motion to explore the establishment of a water and wastewater committee for the purpose of oversight and input for the next rate study to cover the period of 2026-2031. Staff will bring forward terms of reference for Council to review later in 2023.