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SDG County passes 2020 budget

SDG – A modest tax increase and nearly $4 million in outside funding headline the now approved 2020 budget for Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. The United Counties approved the budget at the February 18th county council meeting. 

Among the spending priorities is full funding to the Maxville Manor reconstruction project in 2020, and five-year capital funding commitment for the reconstruction of Dundas Manor. Maxville Manor will receive $2.5 million this year, while the total funding for Dundas Manor is $4 million. 

“This is a responsible budget that speaks to our commitment to our seniors while also providing value to ratepayers in SDG,” said SDG warden Frank Prevost. “County Council is focused on making sound fiscal decisions that lay a solid foundation for economic growth.”

The Counties will spend $11.4 million on road resurfacing, $4.6 million on bridge repair work, and $1.2 million on culverts and drainage. Outside of the planned $4.2 million Morrisburg roundabout and street-scape project, no other road, bridge, or culvert work is scheduled in South Dundas for 2020. The roundabout project is on hold, pending approval of the Counties application for infrastructure funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The provincial government approved the application in August 2019. 

A planned replacement for the culvert at Doran Creek was deferred for 2020 when county councillors looked at funding options for Maxville Manor and Dundas Manor. 

Funding to outside groups total nearly $4 million in 2020 and includes the commitments to the two long-term care facilities, and $289k in community donations. The one-year OPP mental health registered nurse pilot project will get $120,000, the SDG Newspaper Digitization Project will receive $100,000 for continuing the project, and Cornwall-based Beyond 21 will receive $50,000 towards that groups capital project for a new centre. Other funding includes the St. Lawrence River Institute ($10,000) and various county fairs in SDG ($9,000 total).

Increased MPAC assessment values account for a 5.71 per cent increase in revenue for 2020. The increased funding to outside groups and the commitments to the two Manor facilities prompted a 0.62 per cent tax increase. According to the County, the average assessment of a home in 2020 is $220,459, which translates the tax increase to $34.35 on an average bill. 

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader

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