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Council Approves 2018 County Budget

By County of Lambton

Wyoming, ON - Lambton County Council has finalized a 1.93% net increase to the County property tax levy during the conclusion of its 2018 budget deliberations in Wyoming this morning.

The Final 2018 County Budget calls for $74.8 million to be raised through local property taxes, supporting expenditures totaling $213.1 million.

Council endorsed the following six staff recommendations designed to reduce spending in 2018:

  • Deferred the issuance of approved debt for completed projects by 60 days (reduction of $175,000).
  • Imposed a one year moratorium on contributions to the Creative County Grant Program (reduction of $75,000).
  • Eliminated funding towards the purchase of software (reduction of $22,000).
  • Reduced the amount of time three vacant Lambton Public Health positions will be backfilled (a savings of $32,000).
  • Permanently eliminated a position in the County's Court Services Department (reduction of $8,508.50).
  • Decided to not fill a vacant position in the Social Services Division (a reduction of $55,409).

"Staff was creative in identifying ways to lower the levy increase to just under 2%, as directed by Council," said Warden Bill Weber.  "This year's budget maintains the County's ability to deliver core programs and services to our community while making short-term concessions on the building up of reserves."

Council also agreed to further spending reductions by paring down its contributions to its Opportunities and Contingencies Reserve by 0.6%.  In total, $5.29 million will be directed towards various reserves this year, which are used to finance large, necessary projects that may arise in the future or to pay for unexpected emergencies.

51 capital projects, totaling $20.3 million will move ahead in 2018.  Included in the list of approved projects is the third year of upgrades committed to under the 10 year, $40 million Social Housing Capital Plan; the possible rehabilitation of the Bear Creek and Shashawandah bridges; the replacement of two ambulances; the rehabilitation of County Roads #2 (Bentpath Line), #22 (London Line), and #8 (Inwood Road); and changes to the office layout of the County Administration Building.

At its first of two budget deliberation meetings March 7, Council agreed to provide a total of $440,000 to four organizations seeking financial support in 2018.

The County of Lambton operates a wide variety of programs and services available to the public such as land ambulance, provincial offences court, three Long-Term Care Homes, 26 library branches, two museums, an art gallery, archives, local roadways, public health services, housing services, social services, building services and planning and development services. The Corporation employs approximately 1,200 employees across over 40 sites.  Spending is to be allocated to various Divisions and program areas as follows in 2018:

  • General Government/Council Activities: $12.9 million
  • Office of the Chief Administrative Officer: $0.7 million
  • Corporate Services Division: $5.8 million
  • Cultural Services Division: $10.3 million
  • Finance, Facilities and Court Services Division: $12.3 million
  • Infrastructure & Development Services Division: $27.9 million
  • Long-Term Care Division: $32.7 million
  • Public Health Services Division: $25.7 million
  • Social Services Division: $83.6 million

The 2018 Final Budget, as well as archived video of budget deliberations, will be available to the public through the County's website, LambtonOnline.ca.

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Please contact:

Bill Weber                                                                 John Innes
Warden                                                                      GM, Finance, Facilities and Court Services
County of Lambton                                                  County of Lambton
519-649-6885                                                           519-845-5417
bill.weber@county-lambton.on.ca                                    john.innes@county-lambton.on.ca

This article was posted Thursday, March 22, 2018 3:11 PM

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