CORNWALL, Ontario – The United Counties of SD&G are moving towards a annual tax rate increase of 0.62 per cent, or approximately $34 per average household.
At a budget meeting held in council chambers on Monday, Jan. 27 Council agreed to provide funding for both Maxville Manor and Dundas Manor. The funding to these two senior homes increased the budget, which lead to the 0.62 per cent increase in the budget. Prior to agreeing to providing funding for the manors, the United Counties was in fact looking at a tax rate decrease for 2020.
Rebecca Russell, Director of Financial Services and Treasurer of the United Counties presented Council with four options for funding the retirement homes.
According to Russell, Maxville Manor has requested $2.5 million in funding, with Dundas Manor requesting $4 million.
In order to keep the overall tax rate low, Council chose to provide each retirement home with $3 million in 2020, with the remaining $3.5 million parceled out over a five-year term.
Bill Smirle, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dundas Manor confirmed that this funding would be sufficient to secure the home for the foreseeable future.
In her presentation to Council, Russell recommended a legal agreement with the outside institutions to ensure that the money is spent in accordance with Council’s expectations.
“Finally, any commitment to fund these external institutions should be accompanied by a legal agreement ensuring that the funds provided by the County are invested in the two facilities for the stated purposes. Such an agreement should be approved by the parties prior to the release of any County funds,” Russell wrote in her report.
Councillor Lyle Warden explained that with the growing senior population, that the United Counties needed to think about supporting the future.
“Alotting these funds shows that we are thinking of the future, we are all getting older,” he said.
The final tax rate for the United Counties of SD&G will be officially set in February after a confirming by-law is passed.