Submitted by Jill Sturdy
Council adopted the 2023 Budget earlier this week with an emphasis on affordability during trying economic times alongside strategic long-term investments as we emerge from the pandemic, contend with high inflation and manage supply and contractor issues.
“Council was elected to ensure key investments in several priority areas, including core infrastructure, road safety, fire protection, recreation, preservation of our heritage, as well as arts and culture. These investments are intended to foster a high quality of life for residents and business leaders in North Grenville while ensuring our community remains affordable,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford.
“As a high growth community, it is imperative that we make important infrastructure investments while continuing to forge a strong fiscal path forward,” emphasized Mayor Peckford. “We appreciate the community’s understanding this year as we navigate turbulent economic times.”
Investments in key areas include:
- Maintenance and improvements to municipal roads and bridges at $3.5 million, plus $1.8 million over for three years for North Grenville’s share of the expansion of CR 43;
- Addition multi-use pathways, pedestrian crossings, and sidewalk improvements;
- More recreational amenities and opportunities, including the Riverside Park redevelopment, three neighbourhood parks, enhanced winter and summer trails, as well as financial support to several arts, culture and sports groups;
- Preserving North Grenville’s heritage through long awaited investments in some of our most cherished buildings, including Maplewood Hall and the Oxford-on-Rideau Township Hall;
- Taking care of each other through investments in the Kemptville District Hospital, Victim Services, Kemptville Salvation Army Food Bank, Seniors Community transportation services, the Kemptville Youth Centre and the Beth Donovan Hospice;
- Accelerating progress in three areas: a rural transit system for all ages, physician recruitment, and affordable housing;
- Continued support for our local economic development and tourism promotion.
In the 2023 Budget, the $26.9 million in operational costs and $7.5 million in capital costs includes key investments in infrastructure and services that residents rely on every day and key priorities that make North Grenville a better place to live. North Grenville’s 2023 budget results in a municipal tax rate increase of 3.87 percent.
As a separate item, Council adopted the Water and Wastewater Budget, that includes $4.5 Million in operating costs and $18.2 Million in Capital costs.
The majority of capital expenditures for water and wastewater in 2023 is dedicated to fund phase 1 of the expansion of the Wastewater Treatment Centre (a three-year project). The Water and Wastewater operating and capital budgets are exclusively funded by user fees and development charges. As such, property taxes cannot and will not be utilized.
“The investments highlighted in the 2023 Budget reflect the objectives of the North Grenville Strategic Plan, including balanced growth, environment and sustainability, community services, economic development and efficient government, as well as sustaining a strong sense of community,” added Deputy Mayor John Barclay.
With the proposed County tax rate increase of 6.87 percent, overall property taxes are likely to increase by 4.35% ($198) on an average residential assessed value of $400,050. The budget of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville will be adopted in early March.
The Municipality held three public consultations in February, two in-person sessions held in Kemptville and Oxford Mills, as well as one virtual session.
Details on the North Grenville 2023 Budget are available at: www.northgrenville.ca/budget.