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Draft 2017 County Budget to go before Council

Posted on Wednesday December 07, 2016

Cobourg, ON – December 7, 2016 –  The draft 2017 County Budget will be presented at the upcoming December 14th Council meeting. Consistent with the forecasted 10-Year Financial Plan, this $114.6 million budget calls for a 2.2 per cent increase in the County levy after property assessment growth.

Included in this 2.2 per cent is a base levy increase of 1.9 per cent and a dedicated infrastructure levy of 0.3 per cent. In June, Council approved a long-term financial planning model that recommended a 2017 base levy target of two per cent, down from 2.5 per cent in recent years. The draft budget comes in below this target at 1.9 per cent.

Finance Director and Treasurer Glenn Dees will present the budget to Council on the 14th, outlining the overall financial direction of the County. This presentation will address alignment with long-term financial plans, pending asset requirements, and debt management and reserve strategies. The presentation will also highlight projects proposed for 2017. Some of these highlights include:

Economic Innovation and Prosperity

  • Continue to implement County Official Plan policies and principles related to growth management and economic development.
  • Finalize and begin implementation of the Economic Development Master Plan, with a focus on agriculture and agri-food innovation.
  • Increase awareness of Northumberland as Ontario’s prime cycling destination, continuing to enhance cycling promotion, and assisting with cycling development.

Sustainable Infrastructure and Services

  • Consistent with the Long-Term Waste Management Master Plan, develop detailed designs and seek necessary approvals for the construction of an Organics Transfer Station and upgrades to public drop-off areas at the County’s Landfill and Transfer Stations, in order to accommodate additional diversion opportunities.
  • Continue to invest in resurfacing and renewal of existing roads and bridges.
  • Move forward with the development of the Brighton landfill cell.
  • Continue to focus on planning activities and building of reserves for the future rebuild of the Golden Plough Lodge.
  • Collaborate with the Township of Alnwick/Haldimand on the planning, design and construction of a joint paramedic/fire base.

Thriving and Inclusive Communities

  • Collaborate with partners to develop a community-wide response model to most effectively support people experiencing—or at risk of—homelessness.
  • Develop a Community Strategic Food Plan to support county-wide food security.

Organizational Excellence

  • Continue to focus on innovative and shared services models that improve service and delivery, reduce administration and result in savings for tax payers.
  • Build a corporate-wide customer service framework.

 “The County has strong financial frameworks and policies in place that prioritize fiscal responsibility,” stated CAO Jennifer Moore. “The draft budget reflects a prudent approach to achieving Council objectives, sustaining key infrastructure, programs and supports on which our residents and businesses rely, and delivering value to the people of Northumberland.”

The budget overview will be available as an attachment to the Council Agenda – released this coming Thursday – at www.northumberlandcounty.ca/portal. Detailed budget documents and the staff presentation will be available for public review from December 14th to January 25th, at which time the budget will ‎go before Council for a vote. All budget materials will be available following the Council meeting on December 14th at www.northumberlandcounty.ca/2017budget.

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