Chatham-Kent staff presented the draft budget document to Chatham-Kent Council on Wednesday evening, January 16.

Faced with some uncertainties, especially in regards to pending provincial funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, administration presented a budget with a tax increase ranging from 1.7% to 2.03%.

The draft budget includes a 1% increase in annual infrastructure funding, including an additional $550,000 for bridges.

The tax impact is not set in stone and the community has a variety of opportunities to provide input.

Chatham Counc. Brock McGregor, the budget committee chair, said Council wants residents to be informed about municipal spending.

“The more information they have; the better feedback we receive as council members,” he said in a press release.

Community open house sessions will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, January 22, 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre, 1212 North St., Dresden
Tilbury Arena, Ryder Hall, 55 Bond Ave., Tilbury

Wednesday, January 23, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Blenheim High School Cafeteria, 163 Chatham St. S., Blenheim
Wallaceburg Municipal Office, 786 Dufferin Ave., Wallaceburg

Thursday, January 24, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Active Lifestyle Centre, 20 Merritt Avenue, Chatham

Gord Quinton, Chatham-Kent’s Director, Budget & Performance Services, said the municipality has prepared three videos dealing with budget basics, learning how property tax is calculated and assessment growth.

The videos are at https://www.chatham-kent.ca/local-government/financial-information/Budget

“It helps to know how calculations are made,” he said.

“There is more to budgeting than just numbers.”

The budget document is available on the municipal website https://www.chatham-kent.ca/Pages/default.aspx as well.

Budget Committee deliberations are scheduled for January 30, 31 and February 5 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in council chambers.

Tentative sessions are scheduled February 6 and 7 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the same location.

Written and verbal presentations of up to five minutes are welcome each evening – please sign up at the door.

Please check the schedule posted on our 2019 budget website for updates on the timing for deputations.

The Municipality recommend that you contact ckfps@chatham-kent.ca in advance if you have a presentation.

Deputations on specific topics generating significant community interest will be scheduled and announced prior to the Budget Committee’s deliberations.

If you require a specific accommodation, contact the Municipality at 519-360-1998, 48 hours in advance, so they can work with residents to make these arrangements.

If you are unable to attend any of the sessions, your comment can also be made in the following ways:

– By email to ckfps@chatham-kent.ca

– By mail to Budget & Performance Services, Municipality of Chatham-Kent, 315 King St. W, P.O. Box 640, Chatham, Ontario, N7M 5K8

– Or by telephoning Budget & Performance Services at 519-360-1998