After a longer than usual review, County Council approved the 2020 budget on 13 February with an increase over last year of 2.61% in the tax levy. Included in the budget are some key initiatives plus some changes in fees. This year will see “breaking ground for construction of the new Golden Plough Lodge and Northumberland County Archives & Museum facility” and “continuing with county-wide implementation of the Affordable Housing Strategy, including completion of a detailed design for the Elgin Park Redevelopment Project.” Effective March 30, fees for tipping at Community Recycling Centres (CRC) (that’s the latest name for the waste dumps) will increase from $115 to $130 per tonne and Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) operations at the Brighton and Bewdley CRCs will accept HHW three days per week rather than six.
And garbage bag tags will cost $1 more at $3.75 effective 1 March, 2020. The County says that:
This is the first fee increase for bag tags since 2007. This increase aligns with the recent roll-out of enhanced waste and recycling collection services – including two-stream recycling and organics collection – designed to achieve the long-term goal of 75% waste diversion from the local landfill.
Warden Bob Sanderson says:
Ultimately, this planned increase to bag tag fees will ensure that we can continue to offer the services necessary to fully pursue our shared goal of 75% waste diversion in order to extend the lifespan of our landfill. As an off-set to household waste disposal costs, residents are encouraged to take full advantage of the recycling and green bin programs, which allow for unlimited set-out of eligible items each week.
Other budget highlights
- Re-surfacing and renewal of existing roads and bridges, including surface treatment of over 120 km of municipal and County roadways, and rehabilitation and reconstruction of over 10 km of County roadway.
- Developing a Social Housing Master Plan to maximize management of existing stock, including identifying prospects for renewal and intensification, as well as exploring expansion opportunities.
- Developing a Community Wellbeing and Safety Plan in collaboration with community partners, as mandated by the province, to address local priorities related to crime and complex social issues.
- Fostering innovation through continued implementation of the Digital Strategy, including addressing local broadband challenges, modernizing the County’s internal IT infrastructure, and pursuing community-based digital literacy opportunities.
The County gets only about 50% of its revenue from taxes; the remaining 50% comes from grants and subsidies from other levels of government, plus property leasing, the sale of recycled materials from the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), and user fees. (More details in the article County Taxes for 2020 – see link below).
The County says that “Final budget documents will be available on the County website by February 21, 2020 at: Northumberland.ca/Budget2020.”
- County Garbage and Re-Cycling page
- County Taxes for 2020 – 18 Dec 2019 – a review of the county budget
- Public input on County Budget – 28 August 2019
- New Waste Programs finally operational – 14 December 2019
- New Recycling Programs Postponed – 17 August 2019
- Major Changes in Recycling and Garbage Collection – 9 May 2019