| Jan 31, 2008

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Feature Article - January 31, 2008 Frontenac County to approve budget in Sharbot Lake on February 20. By Jeff Green

Frontenac County Council will hold an afternoon meeting in Sharbot Lake on February 20, in conjunction with the Frontenac Heritage Festival, and according to County Warden Jim Vanden Hoek, Council will approve the 2008 budget on that date.

In a special meeting devoted to the budget on January 23, council took about 15 minutes to hear from Julie Shillington about the budget for Fairmount Home and Paul Charbonneau from the Frontenac Ambulance Service before giving tentative approval to each of their budgets. Over $20 million of the $35 million county budget was thus dispatched.

The had more difficulty with the transportation file, taking about 90 minutes to reject a proposal to fund the Rural Routes Transportation Service to the tune of $40,000, then deciding to provide $10,000 in bridge funding for the service.

A proposal to spend $100,000 from funds transferred to the county from a federal gas tax rebate on video-conferencing equipment for the county office and the four township offices was removed from the budget pending comment from the townships’ Chief Administrative Officers, who will be meeting in February.

Council also considered a staff proposal to hire a Human Resources Manager, to be funded mostly from the ambulance budget. After some debate, the position remained in the budget.

The budget also includes in excess of $50,000 for computer hardware and software, which is offset by a decrease in projected legal fees of $75,000.

The overall levy to taxpayers for county taxes will be going down in 2008 by approximately 3%. County taxes make up about 25% of the municipal tax bill. Education taxes, which have remained constant for several years, account for 22%, while township taxes account for the remaining 53%.

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