Cornwall 2019 budget approved with 2.98% increase

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall’s budget committee has approved the 2019 budget with a tax levy increase at 2.98 per cent.

The tax levy increase (total levy $73.7 million) will mean an extra $72 a year on a home valued at $169,932.

“We can really tell that you like what you do,” Mayor Bernadette Clement said of city council and administration.  “I do want to thank this council. You’re great.” Clement said the budget will not make everyone happy. “It maintains our precious infrastructure and it saves a little bit for the future. I think we’re getting it right with this number,” the mayor said.

“I think this is a great budget,” Coun. Maurice Dupelle explained early Thursday evening, moments before the budget was passed. “I’m very pleased with the budget.”

CFO Tracey Bailey explained that the budget increase was not as harsh as years past partly because of a $2.5 million reserve from development charges.

Coun. Justin Towndale said he could live with the results and that it was under a threshold of three per cent.

“There’s nothing fat in that budget. I felt I didn’t need to challenge anybody,” Coun. Todd Bennett remarked.

“This budget has been so easy that I feel I’m missing something,” Coun. Glen Grant chuckled.

“I think we’re at a point if council wants to affect the budget we need to address levels of service,” Coun. Dean Hollingsworth explained. “There are some things I would like to contemplate and consider over the next several months.”

Council covered the budget over two days — a record amount of time compared to budget in previous years that lasted months.