Central Elgin, (February 16, 2017) - At its February, 2017 meeting, Elgin County
Council approved a $63,929,053 operating budget, with a 4.9 per cent levy increase
in County taxes representing a 2.8% increase on the average home or approximately
It is a priority of Council to maintain and expand service levels for residents
whilst being able to achieve affordable taxes. The County has been able to do this,
despite significant revenue losses of over $5 million in OMPF and Ford property
tax, through the use of reserves and measured tax increments over ten years. The
2016 operating surplus and cost reductions in public health and social services
more than offset cost increases in hydro and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) resulting
in a 0.1% improvement over the previously planned increase.
In 2017, Council will continue several initiatives committed to in the 2016 Budget,
including a new building for Terrace Lodge residents, investment in high speed fibre
broadband, a $3.5 million grant to the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital and a Community
Improvement Plan (CIP). New service improvements for 2017 include a new Elgin County
Heritage Centre (museum), a $100,000 loan and enhanced lease payments to Southwold
for the new library, as well as committing to ongoing funding of the Clean Water
"Council's commitment to service is evident through the funding provided to programs
and projects that are valued by the County's residents. These projects include everything
from investment in infrastructure, to support of economic development, protection
of the environment, and enhancement of health care services," said Elgin County
Warden Grant Jones.
Highlights of Council's commitment to improving the prosperity and quality of life
in our community over the next ten years include:
- The County will invest over $110 million in roads, focused on timely investments
in existing infrastructure to ensure the lowest possible lifecycle costs. The 2017
capital plan includes rehabilitation of Wonderland Road, Vienna Line and Sparta
- $38 million investment in our long-term care facilities
- Over $2.5 million in economic development stimulus through funding of Elgin Business
Resource Centre (EBRC) satellite offices, the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and
high speed internet (SWIFT).
- The purchase of $3.2 million of books for libraries.
- Environmental improvements through $400,000 commitment to the Clean Water Initiative.