ERCA Approves 2022 Draft Budget

Thursday February 17th, 2022

Posted at 9:20pm

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The Essex Region Conservation Authority has approved its 2022 Draft Budget for circulation its governing municipalities. The budget totals just over $9.1 million, and includes a levy request of $3,540,303, representing a 2.5% increase from 2021. This is equivalent to $23.15 per household, based on a $300,000 current value assessment.

Completing the Little River Floodplain Mapping and the Turkey Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modelling, planting at least 60,000 trees, embarking on a large-scale restoration project with Caldwell First Nation, and improving accessibility at the John R. Park Homestead and Devonwood Conservation Areas are just some of the top priorities ERCA has outlined for 2021. Building a new Greenway entrance, undertaking significant restoration work at the historic John R. Park Homestead, transforming business processes to improve service delivery, and updating technology infrastructure, network security and information systems are also key projects.

The Authority’s budget presentation responds to the changes to the Conservation Authorities Act included in Bill 229. It includes mandatory program expenses of approximately $5.5 million, including conservation areas capital projects. Non-mandatory expenses total just over $3.3 million. The majority of the requested levy (77%) supports delivery of mandatory services with the remainder 23% of the levy allocated to delivery of non-mandatory, but core recurring watershed programs.

By 2024, the Authority will need to obtain funding agreements with municipalities where municipal support is needed to fund non-mandatory services, which have historically been matched dollar for dollar, if not exceeded.

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