Budget Talks Resume In Essex

The town of Essex plans on finalizing its 2018 budget Monday.

That's according to councillor Sherry Bondy; she tells AM800 News the second-round of deliberations should be all council needs to make a decision.

"On Oct. 30 we did have our first preliminary budget session, but we also passed a forecasted budge in the spring," she says. "It wasn't the first time we had seen it. Now we're just tightening the loopholes and what changes there are from the forecast to the proposed."

If the budget moves forward, Bondy says residents will be looking at a 2% increase — a realistic investment in the town's future.

"We are having a 2% increase, but we also have a capital levy in there, which is funding our asset management program," she says. "It's a realistic increase, not too much, and we're seeing lots of solid infrastructure result out of it."

She says that 1.3% capital levy will help insure some stability in future budgets by maintaining what Essex already has, rather than financing upgrades and repairs.

"When we do a roof for example, if the roof has a 10-year life-span, we take the cost of that roof and divide it by 10-years. When that roof ... has depreciated and we need to replace it, the money is already there," says Bondy. "Future budgets will be more seamless, less surprising, because the money will already be built into our budget."

The 2018 budget will also fill vacancies in town hall, she added.

Bondy says Essex needs a Senior Planner, and a part-time Program Director, which Bondy says could generate some revenue for the town and provide a higher-level of service for residents.

Deliberations begin at 5pm at the Essex County Civic Centre.

— with files from AM800's Peter Langille.