Essex Council Financial Talks Look Ahead to 2022

Essex town council is planning for the municipality's financial future, recently unanimously passing a financial forecast for 2019-2022.

The document builds off the 2018 budget and serves as a foundation for future annual budgeting.

Director of Corporate Services Jeff Morrison says, the long term forecasting facilitates more efficient use of tax dollars.

"By kind of putting together the framework and the ground work, the closer we got to 2018 budget, we rolled that forecast forward and we had better estimates," says Morrison.

Despite this, he says it's not locked in stone.

"When new council is elected they can make the decisions to amend it or change it based on political climate or any assessment changes in our infrastructure," says Morrison.

The director says the town's $17.5-million debt will drop significantly by 2022.

"$39-million in reserves, we have a debt level of just over $15, $16-million dollars, we're financially healthy, we have the 2% levy that council approved for capital - which goes into our life cycle reserve for capital assets and future replacements."

Essex council approved its 2018 budget in November. With a 2% increase, estimated tax rates for the County of Essex and local school boards, adds about $17 - to bring the total tax bill increase to about $45 across the four wards.