“As a rapidly growing community, and as a newly elected Council, we recognize that we need to achieve the right balance between investments in our community and tax relief for residents and business owners,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford.
“With this in mind, Council is pleased to have reduced the scheduled tax rate increase for 2019 to 1.5 percent (from 2 percent) while making important investments in infrastructure and levels of service,” Peckford added. “Ensuring an affordable but high quality of life for all of North Grenville’s residents is our priority,” Peckford further emphasized.
A 1.5 percent budget increase represents an increase of $8.77 over 2018 rates for every $100,000 of assessment.
Budget deliberations began in early January, followed by two Municipal budget Discussion Forums, 19 presentations from community groups, and several Committee of the Whole meetings to discuss capital and operating expenditures.
“Once we know the results of the Municipality’s comprehensive asset management plan expected this spring, Council will be transitioning to a multi-year budgeting approach based on a 4-year cycle starting this fall. This methodology will more precisely anticipate where we as a community must invest, not only today, but well into the future,” noted Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman.
“We will also be focusing on lean practices to ensure the best use of tax dollars. Additionally, we anticipate renewing the long-term financial forecast of the Municipality so we can better anticipate revenues given the growth we are seeing,” highlighted McManaman.
As a high growth municipality, North Grenville’s revenue picture is relatively strong. Approximately $15 million of the 2019 budget is derived from property taxes (90 percent residential), with the remaining $13.4 million being generated from Municipal user fees (bag tags, ice time, room rentals), water rates, building fees, development charges, and provincial and federal grants.
- $1.7 million has been allocated to reserves to support future capital and operational expenditures.
- Regular operating costs for the Municipality come in at just under approximately $19.8 million. In 2018, a compensation review was undertaken for most Municipal employees this past summer, which had a negligible impact on the 2019 budget, apart from the regular cost of living allowance. Approximately $7.7 million is allocated to Municipal wages and mandatory employment related costs for full-time, part-time and seasonal employees.
- Just over $6.7 million is being allocated for a variety of projects in North Grenville. These include:
- 20 gravel and paved roads throughout North Grenville that will receive surface treatment, gravel rebuild, preventative overlay or pavement overlay
- Lighting for the County Road 43 bridge will be installed to make it safer and increase visibility
- All lighting at the North Grenville Municipal Centre will be changed to LED to significantly reduce energy costs
- Sanitary sewers will be completed on County Road 44 from DePencier Drive to County Road 43
- The original Alfred Water Station fire pump will be replaced
- $50,000 has been set aside for traffic calming measures on Concession Road
- Multi-use pathways or sidewalks will be added on sections of Clothier and all of Hurd Street in Kemptville
- Sidewalk equipment will be acquired to ensure regular sidewalk clearing in Burritts Rapids and Bishops Mills
- Maplewood Hall will undergo modest upgrades and electricity will be added to the gazebo in Maplewood Park
- $60,000 has been set aside for urgent rehabilitation of sewage lines (to prevent regular back-ups) at the Curling Club
- The dock at Curry Park will be replaced
- Baseball diamonds at South Gower park will be rehabilitated
- A recreation master plan will be developed to address the current and future need for parks, green spaces and other recreational amenities
- Volunteer firefighters will have a new water fill site at Oxford Mills and access to carbon breathing air cylinders
- The tourism budget under Economic Development has been increased significantly
- Two additional part-time staff will support the Kemptville pool operations (cashier/administrative duties)
- The Municipality will also invest in a more sophisticated process that monitors service level requests and complaints to ensure timely responses and improved outcomes.
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