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GREGG CHAMBERLAIN firstname.lastname@example.org MAYORS WANT AID FUND LEFT IN COUNTIES BUDGET report. They don’t want a special municipal aid fund dropped from the 2019 counties budget. The $2 million fund has been part of the annual budget for several years. “I get the impression,” said Mayor Pierre Leroux of Russell Township, “that people are looking to keep that $2 million.”
The mayors of Prescott-Russell’s eight municipalities want a $2 million munici- pal aid fund to remain part of this year’s counties budget. A report on the first draft of the 2019 counties budget occupied most of the morning session for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) council’s first meeting of the new year, on January 9. “It (budget preparation) is always difficult,” said Julie Ménard-Brault, UCPR finance direc- tor, “but this year will be even more so.” Several mayors on counties council ar- gued against one recommendation in the
The fund was created four years ago, after the UCPR abandoned a proposed ecoLarose conference centre project for lack of senior government support funding. The UCPR’s share of the estimated cost was still avail- able and rather than put it back in reserve, the mayors sitting on counties council then decided to use the money to create a special municipal aid fund with $2 million shared out each year among the eight municipalities.
Last year was the end of the four-year agreement for the special fund. Ménard- Brault said the fund is not part of the 2019 draft budget because the UCPR have several major expenses this year, which it did not have in past years when the counties enjoyed minimal or even zero tax rate increases. Budget numbers crunch The UCPR has to budget for the regional fire dispatch service, a financial responsibil- ity it took over from the Town of Hawkesbury, which used to offer the service to its fellow municipalities in Prescott-Russell. The coun- ties also have to budget for architectural planning this year for the new Prescott- Russell Residence project. At present, the UCPR draft budget totals about $112 million. That includes an es- timated $44,259,000 county levy for the property tax portion of the operating revenue. If approved without any changes, the draft counties budget would mean a 3.85 per cent tax rate increase. i8FWFHPUBHPPEIBOEMFPOXIFSFXFSF going with this (budget),” said Stéphane Parisien, UCPR chief administrator, adding that staff and all department heads tried to be conservative with their budget estimates. spécial d’aide municipale de 2 M$ et souhaitent que le personnel des comtés trouve un moyen de maintenir ce fonds dans le plan budgétaire de cette année. —photo Gregg Chamberlain The Ontario Government is inviting drivers and consumers to share their views on how to lower the province’s auto insurance rates. “Auto insurance rates in Ontario are among the highest in the country, and action is needed,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance. “We want to hear directly from you on how to improve the system.” Consumers and businesses are invited to share their views by visiting www.ontario.ca/form/ survey-making-auto-insurance-more- accessible-and-affordable-ontario and by providing input.– Francis Racine La directrice financière Julie Ménard- Brault a présenté la version préliminaire du budget 2019 pour les Comtés unis de Prescott-Russell. Les huit maires étaient insatisfaits d’une recommandation du rapport visant l’élimination d’un fonds &/#3&'r#3*&'4 CAR INSURANCE RATES
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