Essex Budget Passed With 0% Municipal Property Tax Increase

Wednesday December 16th, 2020

Posted at 8:21pm

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Essex Council has approved the municipality’s operating and capital budgets with a 0% increase to the municipal property tax rate.

“As a Council, we have seen the impact of COVID-19 on residents and small business owners so it was a priority to bring a budget with no increase to our property tax rates,” said Mayor Larry Snively. “It’s a good budget with projects spread out in every ward and area in our community. I also want to thank administration and staff who’ve worked very hard to make Council’s vision a reality during a difficult year.”

The operating budget, which is tied closely to the priorities identified in the 2019-2022 Corporate Strategic Plan, covers all of the Town’s regular expenses (such as wages, facility operating costs, and fees for services).

The capital budget contains a number of significant projects including:

  • More than $5 million for the Harrow Streetscape project, as well as engineering costs for Essex Centre Streetscaping.
  • Nearly $2 million slated for road repairs and roadside infrastructure.
  • $885,000 dedicated to the reconstruction of Victor Street in Essex Centre (Victoria to Laird) including watermain and storm sewer work.
  • $150,000 for new public washrooms and change rooms at the Harrow Splash Pad, $200,000 to replace the playground equipment at Hunter Park, and $35,000 slated for new sidewalks at Sadler’s Park.
  • $48,000 for upgrades at the Colchester Community Centre, as well as $40,000 for the installation of FOB-access gates at Colchester Harbour.
  • $15,000 for the implementation of a new cloud-based building permit system to improve processing, tracking and reporting.
  • $55,000 for the development of an agri-tourism strategy designed to support local farm and farm operators to enhance their operations and attract new visitors.
  • Over $1.6 million in sanitary sewer investments, including a Master Plan for Ward 3 and an optimization study for Harrow.

The capital budget contains a number of carry forward projects which were not able to be completed in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. Four projects within the capital budget have also been slated for further consideration and discussion at Council’s January 11 meeting.

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