The Municipality of Central Elgin had preliminary 2019 Budget talks on Monday,
March 18th, 2019 at 450 Sunset Drive in the lower level of the Elgin County Administration
Building. Karen Harris Central Elgin's Director of Finance and Treasurer began the
meeting with another power point presentation that brought together preliminary
financial details of the proposed Central Elgin 2019 Operating and Capital Budget.
This is the first budget meeting with some real numbers for a new Council to decipher,
and it would seem that the challenges to agree on all fronts will take more time
then anticipated to the create the final version of that 2019 budget than in previous
years. A subject that generated several minutes of rather heated dialogue was the
possible burying of hydro lines on the north side of Sparta Line in the Village
of Sparta with a estimated cost of $250,000 to bury 160 metres of power cable. At
the last Council meeting Eleanor Robson was in attendance discussing the possibility
of having this project done at the same time as the road being torn up for the reconstruction
of the Sparta Beautification project. She also indicated that the affected parties
would not be able to financially support any related costs for this project including
the eight secondary services affected from the new underground service to the building
due to financial hardship in the area. As the cost and what gets done with this
project are not confirmed with Hydro One, it's hard to say what will happen next
even though this project is in the budget.
While this Budget is still an ongoing process, all projected spending is only proposed
and may not be included in the finalized or approved version of the Budget. According
to these preliminary documents the total Net Tax Supported Budget will increase
from the 2018 Approved Budget of $12,905,643 to the Proposed 2019 of $13,489,437
which represents an total increase of $583,794 or 4.52%, a 4.16% Assessment increase,
and a 0.37% Tax Rate increase.
The Net Budgets by Department were divided into Beach Services, Corporate Services,
Environmental Services, Fire, General Government, Parks and Recreation, and Physical
spending is going down 0.28% from Approved 2018 Budget of $25,356 to Proposed 2019
of ($10,788), a reduction of ($36,144) paid by increased Paid Parking rates for
2019 for consistency across lots.
is going up 0.07% from Approved 2018 Budget of $2,319,388 to Proposed 2019 of $2,328,296,
a increase of $8,908. Includes cost for an Official Plan Review, DC Study Work and
Affordable Housing Study work as well a increased Policing costs in 2019.
Environmental Services is going up 0.39% from Approved 2018 Budget of $1,021,271
to Proposed 2019 of $1,071,209, a increase of $49,938 due to a 5% negotiated CPI
increase on extened Solid Waste Management Contract.
Fire is going up 2.84% from Approved 2018 Budget of $2,139,420 to Proposed
2019 of $2,506,094, an increase of $366,674 which is due to an increased contribution
to vehicle reserve plus increased call volume and 100% Fire Admin Assistant for
General Government is going down 0.85% from Approved 2018 Budget of $231,494
to Proposed 2019 of $121,537, a decrease of ($109,957) which is due to an addition
of revenue from ERTH interest and supplemental taxation not previously budgeted.
Parks and Recreation is going up 0.47% from Approved 2018 Budget of $1,613,683
to Proposed 2019 of $1,674,581, an increase of $60,898 which is due to tax-supported
Turvey Park and Eastwood Park projects.
Physical Services is going up 1.89% from Approved 2018 Budget of $5,555,030
to Proposed 2019 of $5,798,508, an increase of $243,478 which is due to increases
related to Lynhurst Phase 2, Hot Mix Paving Program, George Street (South side)
Capital Works primarily tax-supported. work.