Renfrew County passes 2021 budget with 2.5% increase

RENFREW COUNTY – Renfrew County passed its budget this week and is taking 2.5 per cent more from what ratepayers paid last year.

“The budget is guided by the long-term financial plan, which will ensure the County of Renfrew has the resources necessary to operate all of its programs and services and fund the $281 million asset renewal program over the next 10-year planning horizon,” the upper tier municipality released in a statement.

Council passed a budget that will include investments in projects for social housing; long-term care; more efficient service delivery at the county administration building in Pembroke; as well as rehabilitation and construction of roads, bridges and culverts.

The 2021 approved levy, adjusted for growth, equates to a residential property tax increase of $9.07 \ per $100,000 value of their home.

Given the median residential property value of $203,000 in Renfrew County, a typical homeowner would see an impact of $18.41 for 2021.

“That means that for a very modest tax rate increase of 2.5 per cent, the County of Renfrew can continue to deliver high quality services to our community such as two long-term care homes, paramedic services, and social services,” the county said.

Coun. Jennifer Murphy of Bonnechere Township, Chair of the Finance and Administration committee, commended County of Renfrew elected officials and staff on their efforts to find savings within their respective areas of the budget.

A recommendation for the 2021 budget was officially adopted as a bylaw immediately following the budget presentation on Monday (Feb. 1).

Some of the highlights included:

  • Increased efficiency of service delivery by consolidating services at the County Administration Building in Pembroke
  • Ongoing COVID19 Pandemic impact mitigation efforts
  • Funding for the Ontario Winter Games to be held in Renfrew County in 2022
  • Continued investment in capital asset renewal in 2021 – $27.6 million
  • Investments in Active Transportation via major upgrades to the Algonquin Trail
  • Launch of a ride sharing initiative for seniors
  • Ongoing support to Renfrew County residents through the Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre (RCVTAC)
  • Implementation of a new community paramedic program to support seniors waiting for placement in a long term care facility
  • A commitment for a comprehensive mental health strategy to support Paramedics and their families
  • Investing in Community Services initiatives

The County of Renfrew is an upper tier municipality providing a wide range of services to the 17 Lower-tier municipalities including West Carleton’s border, the Town of Arnprior. The county has the largest geographic area of any municipality in Ontario.