$8 mil­lion in road work slated as county trims tax bill

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

When ev­ery­thing was said and done, Stor­mont-Dun­das-Glen­garry coun­ties coun­cil worked long and hard for two days just to save the av­er­age res­i­den­tial tax­payer about 17 cents.

When coun­cil sat down to be­gin bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions on the af­ter­noon of Feb. 19, it was faced with a draft bud­get that called for tax­a­tion to­tals of $47,931,220, an in­crease of $1,488,720, or 3.2 per cent, from 2018 lev­els.

Even with a prop­erty as­sess­ment in­crease, that ac­counted for a two per cent de­crease in county prop­erty taxes. In­deed, coun­ties trea­surer Vanessa Ben­nett-Met­calfe noted that the draft bud­get re­sulted in an av­er­age res­i­den­tial prop­erty tax de­crease of .2 per cent, or $3.

But over the en­su­ing two days, coun­cil cut an ex­tra $81,600 from the bud­get, re­sult­ing in an ex­tra 17-cent re­duc­tion on the av­er­age res­i­den­tial prop­erty tax.

Road work

As per usual, trans­porta­tion ac­counted for more than half of the bud­get’s ex­penses; this year it com­manded 51 per cent of the to­tal. Coun­ties en­gi­neer Ben de Haan pre­sented a trans­porta­tion bud­get that had a net tax re­quire­ment of $24,349,811, an in­crease of $323,213 over 2018 lev­els.

The 2019 bud­get in­cludes a num­ber of resur­fac­ing projects in Glen­garry, in­clud­ing County Road 2 from Sum­mer­stown’s eastern limit to just west of Pilon Point Road, a por­tion of County Road 18 from County Road 34 to Proc­tor Road, a por­tion of road near the in­ster­sec­tion of County Roads 17 and 19 in Wil­liamstown, 300 me­tres of County Road 23 that stretches from north of County Road 24 to Breadal­bane Road, three dif­fer­ent sec­tions of County Road 24, one stretch­ing from County Road 34 to the eastern tip of Dun­ve­gan, an­other from County Road 20 to Dun­ve­gan’s western limit, and one from Dun­ve­gan Road to Dun­ve­gan’s east end.

Other resur­fac­ing work in­cludes a sec­tion of County Road 30 that stretches from Dun­ve­gan’s north­ern end to the Prescott-Rus­sell bound­ary. Also, two por­tions of County Road 43 will re­ceive resur­fac­ing work. One sec­tion stretches from the north leg of County Road 20 to the south leg of the same road. An­other ex­tends from the south leg of County Road 20 to Green­field Road.

All of this resur­fac­ing work will cost about $8,274,000, which is fairly re­mark­able see­ing as how the en­tire resur­fac­ing bud­get for all three of the coun­ties is just un­der $11 mil­lion.

In ad­di­tion to the resur­fac­ing work, the coun­ties will also un­der­take a num­ber of road projects this year in­clud­ing $610,000 worth of

road im­prove­ments on County Roads 20 and 22 in Maxville, a $190,000 en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment for County Road 34 in Alexan­dria, a $250,000 traf­fic sig­nal re­place­ment at the corner of County Road 34 and 43 in Alexan­dria. Ad­di­tions to the bud­get

Coun­ties also agreed to pro­vide $100,000 for a mas­sive ar­chiv­ing project, though $66,000 of that to­tal will come from re­serves.

The project’s goal is to dig­i­tize every sin­gle news­pa­per in the his­tory of the United Coun­ties. The project is a joint ef­fort of The Glen­garry County Archives, the Lost Vil­lages Mu­seum, and the Dun­das County Archives.

Fol­low­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion from Les­ley Thomp­son of the Corn­wall In­no­va­tion Cen­tre on Tues­day morn­ing, coun­cil also agreed to pro­vide $50,000 to that ini­tia­tive. The cen­tre, whose man­date is to train lo­cal peo­ple to work in lo­cal busi­nesses, asked for $50,000 a year for 10 years, sim­i­lar to Corn­wall’s con­tri­bu­tion.

Coun­ties saved some money by cut­ting li­brary wages back to the cost of liv­ing and through $45,000 in fund­ing from the cannabis pro­gram.

For his part, War­den Jamie Mac­Don­ald said he was pleased with the bud­get and was happy that it didn’t re­quire a whole lot of hard work on coun­cil’s part. He and coun­cil even re­warded Ms. Met­calfe-Ben­nett with a round of ap­plause.

The bud­get should be adopted at an up­com­ing coun­cil meet­ing.

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