County councillors have put the stamp of approval on a $530 million dollar budget for 2020. There were some challenges in drafting the document. Provincial funding changes have significantly impacted Children and Community Services, Ontario Works and Long Term Care with more moderate impacts to Paramedic Services and Housing.
“The County is committed to a fiscally responsible approach to municipal services that helps enhance our vibrant communities and support our local residents and businesses,” said Warden George Cornell. “Our 2020 budget is built to maintain valuable health, community and social services, while making critical investments in infrastructure, capital projects and partner initiatives that address demands and growth in our region in 2020 and for years to come.”
The budget directs additional spending for Paramedic Services to address demand and facilities in Barrie and Springwater to aid with response time performance.
There is also money set aside for the continued growth of LINX transit in 2020, with two new routes being added: Alliston to Bradford and Penetanguishene/Midland to Orillia.
County Road 4, County Road 2 and County Road 22 will see major repairs in the new year.
For ratepayers, the two per cent tax increase on the County portion of the municipal tax bill works out to about $5.58 per $100,000 of property assessment across the region.
The County tax increase does not apply to the cities of Barrie and Orillia.