February 12, 2019
For immediate release
County Budget Delivers Affordable Tax Rate with Service Enhancements
CENTRAL ELGIN – At its February 12, 2019 meeting, Elgin County Council approved a $ 65,931,240 operating budget, with a 3.2% increase in County taxes on an average property, which is 0.7% lower than previously anticipated. This will represent a 3.0% increase on the average home or approximately $44.
Council remains committed to achieving affordable taxes while maintaining and expanding high quality services for residents. The County has been able to do this, despite significant revenue losses of approximately $6 million in OMPF and Ford property tax, through the use of reserves, grant funding, and measured tax increments over ten years.
In 2019, Council will continue to implement several initiatives committed to in previous budget cycles including the reconstruction of Terrace Lodge, timely maintenance of existing road infrastructure, a $3.5 million grant to the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, and investment in small business through a Community Improvement Plan (CIP).
“Council has been able to maintain an affordable increase in taxes while improving service through through the addition of a Fire Trainer and a full-time planner,” said Elgin County Warden Duncan McPhail. “Not only does the addition and renovation of Terrace Lodge providing us savings as compared to the previous plan of new construction, it actually improves quality of space for its residents over the new build design.”
Highlights of Council’s commitment to improving the prosperity and quality of life in the community over the next ten years include:
• A new POA Courthouse facility
• $2.5 million granted to the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital through 2018 with a further $1.0 million in contributions planned for a total of $3.5 million by 2022.
• $1 million in CIP funding to improve streetscapes and improve the economic outlook for the County’s businesses will be enhanced with an additional $80,000 annually by reallocating the additional revenue from the elimination of the vacancy rebate/reduction.
• $0.5 million in funding to attract government and private sector support for high speed internet (SWIFT).
• The county roads will average over $12.5 million annually for capital budget funding, focused on timely investments in existing infrastructure to ensure the lowest possible life-cycle costs. This includes the rehabilitation of the King George Lift Bridge and the reconstruction of Sparta Line.
• Seeking match funding to conduct a $100,000 transportation study.
For additional information, please contact:
Jim Bundschuh, Director of Financial Services
519 631-1460 x 141