On Wednesday 30 January, the County announced that it had approved a budget within their guideline of 2.3% but to do that, they decided to eliminate the Bulky Waste Voucher program. Each year at about this time, a voucher has been mailed to all Northumberland residences which allowed disposal of up to 100 kilograms of residential waste at no charge. This has a value of $11.50 and it’s estimated that this will save a total of $268,000 – or rather, the County will collect that much instead of providing the service free. If my math is correct, that means they are now planning to collect up to $11.50 each from more than 23,000 people who would have used the vouchers in a year. With 39,000 dwellings in the county (per Statistics Canada), that’s a very large proportion who are expected to make the trek to one of the waste dumps. Irrespective, the idea is worthy – keeping the taxes low, or at least lower.
The image at right is what the voucher looked like for the year ending 31 January, 2019.
But County CAO Jennifer Moore points out that while this program will no longer be available, “With the introduction of the long-awaited organics collection program starting in September 2019, residents are likely to see off-sets in their waste disposal costs. People will have less waste going into their garbage bags, and so will be spending less on bag tags.” (see this article for more on this). If you want to get rid of stuff, $11.50 does not seem like a big amount but I wonder if it’s realistic to expect 23,000 people to dump 100Kgm each year.
However, the announcement also gave a good summary of the County budget (see Links below for complete announcement).
- The Total budget is $123 million
- Tax is about 50% of total County income – the rest comes from through a combination of grants, subsidies and revenue-generating activities.
- The increase is a “two per cent base levy requirement”, as well as “a dedicated infrastructure Levy of 0.3 per cent”. I would describe the 0.3% as a catch up for Capital projects.
- The estimated increase to a median household in Northumberland County is projected to be $18.
- Transition to two-stream recycling and the launch of a new organic waste (Green Bin) collection service.
- Advancements in the redevelopment of the Golden Plough Lodge long-term care home.
- Launch of detailed design for the new Campbellford Bridge.
- Completion of an affordable housing strategy, with a focus on increasing the supply of rental housing at a variety of affordability depths.
- Completion of a Natural Heritage System Master Plan to guide development in a way that preserves and enhances our natural environment for future generations.
- Development of a Digital Strategy to guide the County’s digital transformation activities, as well as launch of a new corporate website.
- Ground-breaking and construction of the new Trent Hills Emergency Centre.
- Surface treatment for over 120 km of municipal and County roads.
- Upgrades to County social housing.
- Workforce development, attraction and diversity initiatives.
- Announcement: Council approves 2019 County Budget – Bulky Waste Voucher program eliminated to achieve reduced levy (Dated January 30, 2019)
- Census Canada Northumberland County profile
- First County Council Meeting with new members – includes a short discussion of the 2019 budget – 10 December 2018.
- Article on previous (2018) budget here – 13 December 2017 – similar although details are different.
- The County says that “Final budget documents will be available on the County website as of Monday, February 4th at: www.northumberlandcounty.ca/Budget2019 “