Bruce County bud­get ap­proved with 3.27 per cent in­crease

Wiarton Echo - - NEWS - DON CROSBY

Bruce County has ap­proved its 2018 bud­get in prin­ci­ple.

The cor­po­rate ser­vices com­mit­tee ap­proved a bud­get Nov. 2 with a 3.27 per cent in­crease over 2017, which amounts to an ad­di­tional $1.4 mil­lion in spend­ing.

Bettyanne Cobean, direc­tor of cor­po­rate ser­vices, said it’s too soon to tell what the im­pact on in­di­vid­ual tax bills will be. The county doesn’t know how much the prop­erty assess­ment base has grown in the past year.

She said she hopes it will ex­ceed the one per­cent growth the county has ex­pe­ri­enced in re­cent years.

“The last num­ber of years we’ve seen a one per cent growth, which would... re­duce that 3.27 per cent (in­crease) to 2.27 per­cent,” Cobean said.

Cobean ex­pects to have up­dated assess­ment in­for­ma­tion from the Mu­nic­i­pal Prop­erty Assess­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (MPAC) by Jan­uary.

The bud­get in­cludes $200,000 spent on af­ford­able hous­ing and a $650,000 in­crease in spend­ing into the county’s in­fra­struc­ture while the op­er­a­tions bud­get will in­crease by $763,831.

War­den Mitch Twolan said he was happy with the way the bud­get turned out, point­ing out a num­ber of fac­tors over which the county has no con­trol such as cost of liv­ing in­creases for staff.

“This 3.27 per cent in­crease doesn’t take into con­sid­er­a­tion the assess­ment growth either, so if it’s sim­i­lar to last year we’re prob­a­bly look­ing at at least one per cent (growth). On the tax levy it will prob­a­bly be a two per cent or 2.2 per cent,” Twolan said.

“Over all I’m very pleased,” he said.

County council is ex­pected to adopt the 2018 spend­ing es­ti­mates at its Dec. 7 meet­ing.

The bud­get rec­og­nizes the fol­low­ing:

- An in­vest­ment in Af­ford­able Hous­ing and the County’s In­fra­struc­ture in­ject­ing a 6.67% in­crease of $650,000 new dol­lars into Cap­i­tal.

- Op­er­a­tions be­ing main­tained at 2.27%.

- The long term goals of Bruce County will be met through the in­vest­ment in peo­ple re­sources with ad­di­tional head­counts in Hu­man Re­sources, Li­brary and Mu­seum.

- The recog­ni­tion in the need to shift to new col­lab­o­ra­tive tech­nolo­gies with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of BruceWorX, which in­clude tools to ac­ti­vate a highly col­lab­o­ra­tive, ef­fi­cient and flex­i­ble work­ing en­vi­ron­ment across the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

QMI AGENCY PHOTO

The Bruce County crest.

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