By Lindsey Stuckless
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—Haldimand County Council will invest $30.7 million on new infrastructure in 2019 with 300 new tax-supported projects scheduled for the upcoming year after approving this year’s budget on March 7, 2019.
“The numbers and projects outlined in the 2019 budget and 2019-2028 capital forecast reinforce Council’s commitment to making prudent infrastructure investments that result in safe, reliable services for residents,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt in a statement.
The release noted that “in recent years the County has deliberately increased its investment in capital” to update and add facilities. It continued to say, “Similar to past years, the capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase by about $640,000, or about 1% of the overall municipal levy.”
In addition, Council proved granular road conversion was a top priority by unanimously voting to accelerate the program by three years for an additional 0.75% increase to the levy. Originally, all County roads were to be completed by 2028 but will now be converted by 2025.
“The proposed increase meets the needs of those living in rural areas,” said Hewitt, “I am confident we can maintain a manageable budget while supporting this motion.”
Ward 6 Councillor Bernie Corbett said, “I think it is a fantastic move especially for those living on the roads. It is a quality of life issue.”
However, the levy will not be fully determined until the 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget is approved in April; it is possible the 0.75% increase in the capital budget for granular road conversion could be offset by changes to the operating budget. A County release stated, “Council has set the target tax impact, on an average residential property, at 2% as part of the approved budget guidelines for this year.”