January 11, 2019
County Council approves 2019 budget
Budget of $220.9 million addresses needs for affordable housing, paramedic services, aging infrastructure and more
Oxford County Council approved the 2019 Business Plan and Budget at $220.9 million at its January 9 meeting, resulting in a general levy of $59.4 million, a County library levy of $4.0 million and a court security levy of $0.1 million for an overall 6.0% increase in the tax levy over 2018.
Cost pressures in the County’s 2019 budget include actions to address aging infrastructure; affordable housing investment; the cost of employee benefits, including WSIB; costs to fulfil recommendations in the Paramedic Services 10-year plan; and waste management, which is funded by the County for all eight area municipalities in Oxford. This year’s budget also responds to financial challenges related to the transition of Oxford’s public health services joining those of Elgin and St. Thomas.
Included in the budget of $220.9 million are nine new initiatives. These initiatives include Woodstock and Drumbo paramedic service enhancements, an Oxford County Library mobile outreach pilot project, and a $1.2 million investment in the Swift-Plus project to expand ultra high-speed internet to southwestern Ontario’s under-serviced areas.
The 2019 budget also includes $141,000 for the Future Oxford Legacy Fund, which provides seed funding for sustainable businesses in Oxford County, and $316,500 in community grants for Social Planning Council Oxford, Woodstock & Area Small Business Enterprise, Creative Connections, Oxford County Physician Recruitment and more.
The by-law to formally establish the 2019 budget is before Council on January 23. The allocation of the $63.4 million tax levy across residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural tax classes will be confirmed when the 2019 tax by-law policies are approved in April.
To review the 2019 Business Pan and Budget in full, please visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/budget.
As part of the 2019 budget process, the County partnered with area municipalities on an online budget survey to identify residents’ budget priorities. A total of 655 people took part in the survey, which showed that long-term care, waste management, and municipal housing were services residents want to see enhanced. Overall, about 81% of residents rated the value received for tax dollars from their municipal government as fair, good or excellent.
Services supported by the County portion of municipal taxes include water and wastewater, maintenance of County roads and bridges, garbage and recycling, human (social) services, housing, paramedic services (ambulance), long-term care at Woodingford Lodge, community planning, County libraries, provincial offences court, tourism, and other services that improve quality of life for people living in Oxford’s eight area municipalities. Oxford’s municipalities include Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Ingersoll, Norwich, South-West Oxford, Tillsonburg, Woodstock and Zorra.
About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 114,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community, and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3503 | firstname.lastname@example.org