Elgin County Delivers Responsible and Forward-Thinking Budget
March 8, 2022
For Immediate Release
Central Elgin, ON – At their meeting on March 8, 2022, Elgin County Councillors passed a by-law approving a $64.3M operating cost budget and a $40.6 M levy – a $1.5M increase over 2022. The levy represents a tax increase of 1.7% on an average property and, as an example, equating to approximately $37 on a home valued at $350,000.
In the last year of its term, Elgin County Council remains committed to being cost efficient with every dollar available to ensure the County maintains a strong financial position into the future. The budget is a roadmap that will guide resourcing in a way that is responsible and forward-looking. The budget is linked to strategic objectives contained in the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan which prioritizes investing in Elgin in a way that is financially responsible by ensuring Elgin has the necessary tools, resources and infrastructure to efficiently deliver programs and services now and in the future.
In 2022, the County of Elgin will continue to make significant investments in critical infrastructure through several planned transportation network (Roads and Bridges) projects. The County will also continue construction on the Terrace Lodge Redevelopment project. This project is currently on schedule and within the approved budget.
Elgin will complete the review of its Official Plan in 2022 and modernize and streamline planning documents and processes. This will cost $121,000. Driven by recommendations in the Service Delivery Review, the County will also invest $512,000 in significant technological enhancements across all departments to improve efficiency. These enhancements will relate to GIS, Agenda Management, Human Capital Management, Cyber Security, and Long-Term Care Homes Documentation.
The County will continue to face cost pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated recovery for years to come. Additionally, unusually high inflation will affect all organizations in 2022 including Elgin County, adding approximately $90,000 in additional costs.
The County continues the important work of making necessary repairs to County-owned facilities to ensure that they are safe and accessible to members of the public for years to come. This will add $213,000 in costs to the budget in 2022.
To offset these pressures, the County of Elgin is appreciative of $2.5M in anticipated additional funding from the Ministry of Long-Term Care to support the retention and recruitment of staff to increase direct hours of care for residents. The County is also expected to receive $1.2M in funding for capital projects through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.
“Over the past several months, County Council, the Budget Committee and staff have worked tirelessly to deliver a budget that is practical and sustainable,” said Warden Mary French. “Preparing a budget requires a delicate balance between funding the highest quality of services possible while ensuring the impact on taxpayers is reasonable. I am confident that we have achieved this balance, keeping increases low without sacrificing investments that must be made to maintain public assets for future use.” Warden French continued, “The continuing COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation create challenges for the County moving forward, but Council recognizes that these challenges exist for our residents as well.”
Major Capital projects planned for 2022 include but are not limited to:
• The County of Elgin will continue construction on the Terrace Lodge Redevelopment Project which will take place over the course of the next two (2) years and cost $35.6M
• Elevators will be replaced at the Elgin County Administration Building to ensure accessibility compliance for a cost of $3.1M
• The Village of Richmond Reconstruction (CR 38 and CR43) will cost $3M
• The County of Elgin will be replacing the deck on Philmore Bridge costing $1.5M
• Centennial/Elm Intersection Improvements (Roundabout) will be undertaken this year and will cost $1.4M
• Fingal Line (CR16) will undergo road recycling and resurfacing between the Village of Fingal and City of St. Thomas costing $2.5M
• Imperial Road (CR73) will be rehabilitated between the north limits of the Town of Aylmer and Avon Drive for a cost of $3.6M
For more information about the 2022 Budget process or to view a complete copy of the Elgin County 2021 Budget please visit www.elgincounty.ca/budgetcommittee
For additional information, please contact:
Mary French, Elgin County Warden | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Ford, Manager of Financial Services/Deputy Treasurer | email@example.com