The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) has approved, in principle, its 2022 budget, which focuses on infrastructure renewal throughout SDG.

At its January 24 meeting, SDG council put the final touches to the 2022 document, which sets the budget at $66 million. The budget means a 2.34 per cent increase for an average residential property in SDG. Every $100,000 of assessment in SDG results in $589 on a counties’ tax bill. In 2022 a typical SDG residential property assessment totals $222,750 – an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to one year ago. Total SDG counties taxation in 2022 is $52.3 million –  an increase of nearly $1.6 million from 2021.

“Counties Council has agreed on a budget that addresses priorities around our vast inventory of infrastructure in SDG,” said Warden Carma Williams, in a press release. “2022 represents an opportunity for the Counties to pivot from COVID-focused spending to making improvements to our infrastructure that residents can see and appreciate.”

Large-scale infrastructure projects that will be completed in 2022 include:

• Road resurfacing (minimum of 48 kilometres) – $11 million

• Pavement preservation activities, (micro-surfacing, crack sealing) – $800,000

• Bridge rehabilitation activities (including $780,000 for Ferguson Bridge) – $5 million

• Culvert repair and rehabilitation – $1.4 million

• Preparatory activities for SDG 22 reconstruction (ongoing) – $1 million to date

“The Counties continues its focus on infrastructure renewal, both capital and maintenance,” said counties CAO Tim Simpson. “In 2022, nearly $29 million will be spent maintaining and renewing vital Counties infrastructure, notably an investment of nearly $6.5 million on bridges and large culverts. Our goal is to invest as much as possible in infrastructure, utilizing asset management, life-cycle costing, and capital preservation techniques, to maximize the utility of each dollar spent.”

The investment ratepayers make via taxation continues to be the chief source of revenue for SDG.

“Consistent with most municipalities, SDG’s main source of revenue is property taxes,” said Financial Services Director Rebecca Russell. “As funding declines, property taxes increase to support services. Taxation currently accounts for 80 per cent of our total revenue.”

Counties Council will officially set the 2022 budget by way of bylaws at its February meeting.