29 Jan

County’s budget deliberations get underway

Picton, ON – The 2020 budget deliberations kicked off last night with an overview of key fiscal opportunities and challenges facing the municipality.

Other highlights from the first budget meeting include:

• Council accepted staff’s recommendation to move forward with finding practical ways for the municipality to operate more effectively and efficiently. As part of that effort, the municipality will use $98,675 of the provincial modernization funding to conduct a service delivery review and a review of administrative and governance processes.

• Council allocated an additional $91,000 from provincial modernization funding to implement a recreation/facilities on-line booking system, an on-line public consultation tool, and a payroll human resources IT system.

• Council engaged in a robust and challenging discussion around funding requests from several organizations and community groups. Council agreed to provide:

° $40,000 per year over the next 10 years to support the Kingston General Hospital redevelopment;

° $20,000 in 2020 for food insecurity, with a commitment to reconsider a request to increase this amount to $40,000 in the 2021 budget; and,

° $13,450 in cash and up to $11,840 in-kind for use of municipal facilities (calculated at regular market rates) to continue operating the County Seniors Centre program as part of The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association's Active Living Centres - Program.

Deliberations will resume on Wednesday, January 29 at 9 am. Staff will present the 2020 capital budgets and outline the pressures that come with maintaining, repairing, and replacing the municipality’s assets such as roads, bridges, and water and wastewater infrastructure.

Budget deliberations are scheduled to continue throughout the week. Follow the County on Twitter (www.twitter.com/Shire_Hall) and search the hashtag #PECbudget for updates throughout the deliberations.

Learn more about the proposed 2020 budget and what it means to you as a taxpayer:

• Visit the County website to view the budget documents
• Read the budget context report prepared by Marcia Wallace, Chief Administrative Officer
• Attend the Council deliberations at Shire Hall (280 Picton Main Street) or watch the meetings live online.

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