Community encouraged to get involved with the County’s Budget Discussions

February 1, 2023
For Immediate Release

Central Elgin, ON – Each year, the Warden and County Council – with input from County residents and businesses – make decisions about County services, programs and infrastructure and approve a budget. The budget is about setting goals and building a great community – together. The public’s feedback is a crucial part of the County’s budget process.

The County’s draft 2023 Budget was released to the public today. Elgin County is encouraging the community to get involved in the budget process with intensive consultation taking place February 1st – February 14th, 2023. This year’s budget, that forms the mid-point for County Council’s detailed review, requires a municipal tax increase of 2.07%. The proposed increase would equate to an additional cost of $13.18 in 2023 for a residential property, per $100,000 of assessment.

To review the proposed 2023 Budget, visit: https://engageelgin.ca/investinginelgin.

“Unsurprisingly, County Council is facing a difficult budget process this year. This draft Budget includes costs related to government mandated services that we are required to address, funding needs and service commitments,” said Warden Ed Ketchabaw. “Given the staggering inflation rates that all sectors are experiencing, this leaves little room to make adjustments and cuts within the budget. I would characterize it as mainly a maintenance budget that will meet Elgin County’s needs for 2023.”

The draft Operating Budget includes approximately $70 million in 2023 for programs and services, including Housing, Social and Health Services, and Transportation Services. The draft Capital Budget includes approximately $22 million in 2023 for various infrastructure and capital projects – classified as Lifecycle Renewal Projects, Growth Projects and Service Improvement Projects.

“This draft budget is conservative and reflects modest service level change in Emergency Medical Services, ongoing investment in critical infrastructure, and the impact of high inflation rates,” said Warden Ketchabaw. “The proposed tax rate increase of 2.07% is possible because of recent real growth in assessment, operational efficiencies, and the deferral of some capital projects that should not impact service in the near term. Elgin’s Leadership Team is to be commended for putting this draft budget package together.”

The County is offering citizens opportunities to review and provide input on the draft 2023 Budget, including an in-person Community Conversation open house on Monday, February 6, 2023 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building (1st Floor) 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas. Citizens can review the budget, provide feedback and ask questions of County staff and members of Council. Pre-registration is not required.

The County’s Investing in Elgin webpage (https://engageelgin.ca/investinginelgin) also includes other important information, such as key dates, the budget process timeline and important documents including the draft Budget. This page will help the community navigate the budget approval process and see what is being proposed in 2023. Print copies of the budget are available at the main reception desk at the County Administration Building.

Written comments can be sent to:

Jenna Fentie, Deputy Clerk
450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas ON N5R 5V1
Telephone: 519-631-1460 x. 156
Email: jfentie@elgin.ca

The County’s Financial Services team is happy to have a conversation about the budget and can be reached by email: budget@elgin.ca or by phone 519-631-1460 x. 107.

Council’s budget reviews will take place on February 14th and February 28th, with approval targeted for sometime in March 2023. All information gathered through the public consultation period will be presented to Council for further consideration at its meeting on February 28, 2023.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Warden Ed Ketchabaw
warden@elgin.ca
519-619-8432

Victoria Day Closure 2024
Easter Holiday Closure Notice
Family Day Closure Notice
Graphic to indicate holiday closures at Elgin County Facilities. The Elgin County Administration Building, Provincial Offences Administration Building, and Elgin County Heritage Centre will be closed on Friday, December 23rd at noon. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024.