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The 2021 County of Brant budget process is wrapped up and it was delightfully boring.

What I mean by that is that unlike some of the political things we are seeing all over the world there was very few contentious moments.

Also, despite the financial pressures brought on by 2020, Covid-19 and various economic issues this year our budget increase is very small which should help those struggling while we are still providing small service enhancements – mostly on traffic control, speeding, better communication to residents, and items for the betterment of the environment.

Other municipalities nearby are looking at big cuts AND big tax increases and we are very lucky to not be facing those same issues at this level.

For those wondering the property tax increase will be 2.25% this year. This works out to approximately a $67.12 increase for the year on the median home in the County.

Hopefully this small increase instead of a larger one will help with affordability for those struggling under the weight of financial pressures in a community that statistically speaking is in strong financial footing.

In 2020 we lost 1.7% of our local businesses due to COVID-19 which is a far sight better than the Canadian and provincial averages which were over 7% and 9%. We need to keep that going as best we can and I urge those who can to continue to shop locally and #LoveLocalBrant.

Some highlights from the budget:

  • 2 new OPP positions to deal only with enhanced traffic patrol and safety in addition to an already employed position creating a enhanced traffic control unit within our local OPP.
  • A full-time Transportation Safety Specialist to help the County of Brant’s Safe Streets Initiative and deal with engineering and education demands for speed and traffic control.
  • An Automated Speed Enforcement Pilot Project more commonly known as portable photo radar systems.
  • Enhanced dead tree removal within the County of Brant road allowance.
  • Gypsy Moth Removal Program to help keep our tree population healthy.
  • A digital communications specialist brought on by needs to communicate with residents effectively and remotely during the pandemic.
  • Additional funding for the Stedman Community Hospice.

The budget was originally scheduled to be finalized in December but was bumped back to January due to final numbers from the City of Brantford’s Social Services Department not being available in time. We partner with the City of Brantford through cost sharing agreements and needed those numbers before we could proceed accurately with a final budget motion.

More budget information for this year and past years can be found at:

https://www.brant.ca/en/county-government/budget-and-capital-forecast.aspx#

And both budget meetings are available to be viewed below: