County releases draft budget document with 1.75% increase

Warden Bill Weber calls proposal a 'responsible starting point from which to work'

Lambton County Warden Bill Weber says a staff proposal for a County budget for 2019 is "responsible starting point from which to work."

Lambton County Council will be considering a net increase of 1.75% to the County property tax levy when it meets to discuss the County’s 2019 budget early in March.

The Draft 2019 County Budget was presented during a special joint meeting of Committee A.M. and Committee P.M. in Wyoming on Wednesday (February 20).  The draft document calls for $76.7 million to be raised through local property taxes and total spending of $216.5 million, allocated as follows:

  • General Government/Council activities – $14.3 million
  • Office of the Chief Administrative Officer – $700,000
  • Corporate Services Division – $5.8 million
  • Cultural Services Division – $10.9 million
  • Finance, Facilities and Court Services Division – $11.9 million
  • Infrastructure & Development Services Division – $28.6 million
  • Long-Term Care Division – $34.1 million
  • Public Health Services Division – $27.7 million
  • Social Services Division – $82.1 million

Staff propose that 50 projects estimated at $20.4 million be undertaken in 2019 including the replacement of Bear Creek Bridge, the resurfacing of various County roads, and the reconstruction of portions of County Road #2 (Bentpath Line), County Road #80 (Courtright Line), and County Road #9 (Northville Road).

“In a year where many provincial programs are being analyzed and reviewed, the County’s draft budget reflects restraint, while maintaining core programs, services and investments in infrastructure,” said Lambton County Warden Bill Weber.  “County Council has been given a responsible starting point from which to work.”

The Draft Budget calls for $6.4 million to be allocated to various reserves and reserve funds in 2019.  The County uses these reserves to finance large, necessary projects that may arise in the future or to pay for unexpected opportunities and emergencies.

Lambton County Council has one item referred to budget deliberations this year:  the Lambton Children’s Safety Village is seeking $250,000 over five years to construct a Safety Village at the Brigden Fairgrounds.  No other grant requests have yet to be received for Council’s review and consideration.

Budget deliberations are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 6, 2019 and if required, will continue at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 21. Deliberations are also scheduled to be streamed live and made available for archival viewing through the County’s website, LambtonOnline.ca.

Hard copies of the 2019 Draft County Budget can be requested by contacting the Finance, Facilities and Court Services Division at (519) 845-0809 ext. 5321 or by clicking on the “County Budget” tab at www.lambtononline.ca.

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