Following five community open houses and three Council Budget Committee meetings, on Tuesday, February 5 Chatham-Kent Council has passed the 2019 municipal budget. The budget includes a 1.99% tax increase, which included a $4,088,000 investment in infrastructure, $387,000 for increased Community Partnership funding, new investments to support the CKPlan2035 Environmental Sustainability area of strategic focus, debt reduction and sustainable investments in many services. The increase is under the 2018 Canada inflation rate of 2.3%. It represents approximately a $57 increase on an average home assessment of $168,300.
After the recommendations were presented to Council by the municipal administration on January 16, Council and administration held Community Open Houses to gather input from citizens on the recommendations. Public meetings were held in Wallaceburg, Tilbury, Dresden, Blenheim and Chatham. Comments were also received by e-mail.
During the development of the 2019 budget, 968 residents visited the "Have Your Say on the 2019 Budget" survey, which was an on-line budget consultation tool to gauge community concerns.
The addition of on-line surveys and additional community meetings resulted in greater public education and understanding of the operations of the Municipality.
With Councillor Brock McGregor as chair, the Budget Committee held deliberations on January 30 & 31 and February 5.