Draft 2020 County Budget presented for Council consideration

Cobourg, ON – December 18, 2019 – Council today received the recommended County budget for 2020, presented by Finance Director and Treasurer Glenn Dees. Consistent with the target set by Council in June of this year at the outset of the budget process, this $140.6 million budget calls for a three per cent increase in the County levy after property assessment growth.

The overall estimated impact of this levy increase to a median single family detached home in the County is approximately $29.20, though this is subject to change based on tax policy and information from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporate (MPAC), both of which will be finalized in the spring.

“This draft budget establishes a concrete course of action for delivering the programs and services expected by our residents, in a way that prioritizes efficiency in County operations and value for the local taxpayer,” states Warden Sanderson. “As we prepare to vote on this budget next month, Council will carefully consider 2020 proposals and long-term financial plans, ensuring alignment with the priorities defined in our four-year Strategic Plan.”

Some of the highlights from this proposed budget, as aligned with Council’s four-year Strategic Plan, include:

Economic Prosperity and Innovation

  • Foster innovation through continued implementation of the Digital Strategy, including addressing local broadband challenges, modernizing the County’s internal IT infrastructure, and pursuing community-based digital literacy opportunities.
  • Engage in innovative projects with community partners, and strategically position the County’s many cultural and natural assets, to stimulate economic development and tourism growth.

Sustainable Growth

  • Break ground for construction of the new Golden Plough Lodge and Northumberland County Archives & Museum facility.
  • Complete construction of the Trent Hills Emergency Services Base, in collaboration with the Municipality of Trent Hills.
  • Continue to invest in resurfacing and renewal of existing roads and bridges, including surface treatment of over 120 km of municipal and County roadways, and rehabilitation and reconstruction of over 10km of County roadway.
  • Finalize for Council review a County-wide Development Charges Background Study.

Thriving and Inclusive Communities

  • Continue with County-wide implementation of the Affordable Housing Strategy, including completion of a detailed design for the Elgin Park Redevelopment Project.
  • Develop a Social Housing Master Plan to maximize management of existing stock, including identifying prospects for renewal and intensification, as well as exploring expansion opportunities.
  • Develop Community Wellbeing and Safety plans in collaboration with community partners, as mandated by the province, to address local priorities related to crime and complex social issues.

Leadership in Change

  • Continue to focus on innovative and shared services models that improve service and delivery, reduce administration and result in savings for tax payers.
  • Ensure continuous improvement of corporate processes by enhancing Cybersecurity practices, completing phase 2 of the Human Resources Information System implementation, and putting in place a Lean Governance Model and Action Plan for the organization.

Following further review, County Council will vote on this budget at the January 29th, 2020 meeting of Council. To view draft budget materials, including overall highlights as well as individual departmental breakdowns, visit: Northumberland.ca/Budget2020.