Council passes 2019 budget in just two days

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Council passes 2019 budget in just two days
The City of Cornwall's Chief Financial Officer Tracy Bailey presenting the budget to Council (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council passed their 2019 budget on the second day of deliberations with an average property tax increase of 2.98 percent or $71.81 per household. That totals as an average of $2,484.81 for the year for the average household.

This is the fastest that Council has passed the budget in two years. The 2017 and 2018 budgets as a comparison took roughly six months to pass.

The protracted budget process in 2018 impacted administration, tying their hands when it came to issuing tenders for some contracts, a fact pointed out by Councillor Justin Towndale.

“I think we made good decisions this year,” he said. “I think I can live with this here.”

One reason that other recent budgets took longer to pass was due to steep increases that Council had been presented with by administration. This year’s increase was much lower than expected.

The City’s Chief Financial Officer explained that this was down to the introduction of development charges, money that has been put towards paying for capital projects.

“What really did assist the city was development charges and having that as a new revenue source for capital projects,” she said.

The City of Cornwall is expecting to take in $2.2 million in 2019 in development charges.

Mayor Bernadette Clement applauded the work of administration and council.

“What I particularly appreciated was the sentiment that all of you brought to presenting your budgets,” she said. “You can tell that you care about what you do and like what you do. Thank you for your work administration.”

“I want to thank this council, you’re great, really great,” Mayor Clement went on to say. “I will remind you that that number won’t make everyone happy. What this increase does is it keeps operations pretty flat, it maintains our precious, precious infrastructure and has a little bit for the future. We’re doing a combination of things, and I think we’re doing it right for the future.”

The budget was passed almost unanimously, save for Councillor Claude McIntosh, who was absent.

The full details of the budget can be found here.

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