Before taking a break for the holiday season, East Hawkesbury Township council met on December 23 and approved the 2020 municipal budget.

According to the budget documents from Clerk-Treasurer Luc Lalonde, the $5,137,855 budget includes a 2.5 per cent increase in the municipal tax levy.  In 2019, the total township budget was $3,997,272.  The township will collect $2,255,963 in taxes in 2020, which is $125,242, or 5.9 per cent more than the 2019 amount of $2,130,721.

The budget documents do not list any projected increases in tax revenue based off assessment growth.

The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) funding East Hawkesbury receives from the Ontario government is increasing by 6.5 per cent in 2020.  In 2019, the township received $265,000 from the OMPF.  In 2020, it will receive $283,500.

Road paving expenses in East Hawkesbury are projected to increase in 2020.  A $111,000 provincial grant is part of the $242,650 for paved road expenses in the budget.  In 2019, the paved roads budget was just $31,700.  The provincial grant and additional funds in 2020 mean the budget for paved roads is to increase by $210,950 or 87 per cent.

The budget increase for gravel roads is less significant.  It is going from $187,500 in 2019 to $192,600 in 2020, which is just $5,100 more.

However, the budget for bridges and culverts is increasing by $21,902, or 88.3 per cent.  In 2019, $24,800 was set aside, and $46,702 is being allocated for bridges and culverts in 2020.

For 2020, the township has budgeted $500,000 for service from the Ontario Provincial Police.  That is an increase of $16,206 or 3.3 per cent from $483,794 in 2019.