The county has crunched the numbers, and for Barrie in 2019, that number is $22.5 million.
The 2019 County of Simcoe draft budget was presented to county council on Tuesday, outlining how the county intends to spend its budget in 2019. The proposed tax increase for taxpayers across the county is 2%, which works out to an increase of $5.70 per $100,000 of MPAC assessment.
Barrie residents do not pay taxes at the county level, as Barrie is a separated city. Instead, the municipality allots a specific amount in their own budget to pay for the use of some county services.
For the separated City of Barrie, their contribution to use some county services (Long Term Care & Seniors Services, Paramedic Services, Children and Community Services, Ontario Works, Social Housing Non-Profit, Simcoe County Housing Corporation, the county museum and archives) comes with a price tag of $22.5 million for 2019, an increase of 9.5% over 2018 numbers.
“I like the way it went. It was very collaborative,” said newly minted Warden George Cornell after the talks concluded for the day. “It’s important to have a good discussion about the items as it’s a significant budget.”
The total county budget for 2019 is $550 million.
“There’s a significant amount of services we provide to our residents in the county, and it’s important that council takes the time to go through it,” he said.
Cornell points to the 15 new members of county council who sat at the table for this round of talks.
“The budget process allows you to (develop a greater) understanding of the services that are provided here at the county, and the level of services that we provide, the costs associated with that, and the benefits our residents get,” said Cornell.
“There was some good discussion over a few items, but they were able to be accommodated, and now we’re at a point where we’re able to recommend the budget to council on Jan. 22.”
During talks Tuesday, some Barrie-specific projects were mentioned.
The bulk of the county’s contribution for the Barrie-Simcoe Emergency Services Campus is coming out of the county’s 2019 budget, with $8.1 million being put aside for the project. Another $349,000 is slotted to go toward a Central East Barrie Paramedic Station.
Social housing projects within Barrie city limits are also planned to get money for improvements, including 549 Yonge St. ($39,000).
The 2% tax increase for residents not living in Barrie and Orillia would represent $3.3 million in additional funding for the county coffers.
For the separated City of Orillia, their contribution to use county services (Long Term Care & Seniors Services, Paramedic Services, Children and Community Services, Ontario Works, Social Housing Non-Profit and the Simcoe County Housing Corporation) will come with a price tag of $5.6 million for 2019, an increase of 2.5% over 2018.
The draft budget was referred to the Jan. 22 regular council meeting for adoption. The City of Barrie budget meetings will be taking place throughout January, with the service partner presentations taking place Jan. 14.
Total county budget ($550 million) breakdown by department
Administrative and Statutory Support - $37 million
Paramedic Services - $73.2 million
Planning and Economic Development - $5.1 million
Social Housing - $90 million
Transportation and Engineering – $68.6 million
Solid Waste Management - $45.9 million
General Municipal Services - $28.1 million
Long Term Care and Seniors Services - $60.1 million
Transit - $7 million
Children and Community Services - $62.3 million
Ontario Works - $72.8 million