No increase in the tax rate with 2019 Counties budget:
Counties Council and the Joint Services Committee have finalized the 2019 budget. New assessment through growth and phase-in has increased the Counties’ taxation revenues by $1.5-million in 2019, therefore requiring no increase in the tax rate.
The main drivers of the 2019 budget were the increased resources for paramedic services and a half percent increase in each of the dedicated levies for hospital capital and Counties capital. These increases in expenditures total approximately $1.1-million, with the remaining increases going towards inflationary costs and several staffing changes.
On February 6, 2019, the Joint Services Committee adopted the 2019 budget for paramedic services, social services, social housing, and Provincial Offences Act court and administration. Counties Council held a special meeting on March 5, 2019 to adopt its budget and set the 2019 tax rates.
Non-union workers receive cost of living increase:
Counties Council passed a by-law to give non-union United Counties workers a 1.75% cost of living increase retroactive to January 1, 2019. The United Counties currently employs 158 non-union employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, casual, and seasonal. These non-union employees are from Administration, Corporate Services, and Public Works departments as well as management and some administrative staff from Community and Social Services, Maple View Lodge and Paramedic Service.
Remuneration for the Warden and members of Council will be increased annually effective January 1st of each year by the same percentage increase provided to non-union staff. For more information, contact Counties CAO Andy Brown at 613-342-3840, ext. 2301.
Appointment of Integrity Commissioner:
A by-law to appoint an Integrity Commissioner has been passed by Counties Council. Tony Fleming of Cunningham Swan will be the Integrity Commissioner for the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, effective March 1, 2019, as required under the Municipal Act. The position has the function to investigate, in an independent and confidential manner, a complaint made by any person as to whether a member of council or a member of a local board has complied with the Code of Conduct or other ethic-related policies, rules, or procedures and report on the investigation.
The Municipal Act has been amended to include additional powers to Integrity
Commissioners, including investigating whether a member of Council or a member of a local board has complied with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, effective March 1, 2019. For more information, contact CAO Andy Brown at 613-342-3840, ext. 2301.
Official Plan exemption request approved:
Following a Counties Council resolution, CAO Andy Brown will request the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to exempt Counties Official Plan amendments from requiring approval from the Ministry.
The United Counties Official Plan was approved in 2016. Under the plan, the Counties have authority to approve the local official plans and local official plan amendments of its 10 member municipalities. Since 2018, the Counties have approved four plans, received early drafts of two others, and have had discussions on timing with the four remaining municipalities. Following discussions between the Ministry and Counties staff, Leeds Grenville is now in a position to initiate the exemption request process.
The benefit of the exemption is decisions on the Counties Official Plan are made locally. Fees will be reduced and processing times lessened. Amendments would not have to be sent to the ministry for approval. Instead, they would be reviewed by the Counties Planning Advisory Committee and approved by Counties Council.
Upcoming meetings: Committee of the Whole Tuesday and Special Council meeting to adopt the 2019 Budget, March 5; Joint Services Committee Wednesday, March 6, and regular Counties Council on Thursday, March 21. All regular meetings begin at 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers at 25 Central Avenue, Brockville. For more information, contact County Clerk Lesley Todd at 613-342-3840, ext. 2454.