November 12, 2021
Special budget meetings begin for 2022 Budget
November 17 meeting marks the return of public attendance at County Council meetings after the move to online under COVID-19 restrictions
The first of two special budget meetings takes place Wednesday, November 17 at 9:00 a.m., marking the start of Oxford County Council deliberations on the Draft 2022 Business Plan and Budget.
The Draft 2022 Budget puts forward $271 million in expenditures to deliver County programs and services, which span Public Works (50% of budget), Human Services (17%), long-term care at Woodingford Lodge (12%), Paramedic Services (7%), Library (2%) and Community Planning (1%).
The draft budget includes $64.1 million for public works capital infrastructure projects such as County-wide road rehabilitation and resurfacing; bridge rehabilitation; road urbanization along Oxford Road 3 in Princeton and Oxford Road 9 in Ingersoll; County-wide watermain and sewer replacements and expansions; ongoing upgrades to the Tillsonburg wastewater treatment plant; ongoing capacity expansion of the Drumbo wastewater treatment plant; and servicing of employment lands in Woodstock.
A total of 13 new initiatives that advance the County’s strategic priorities are identified in the Draft 2022 Budget. They include the launch of a community paramedicine program; the introduction of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion role to support community initiatives; a second weigh scale at the waste management facility; emergency “road closed” trailers; automated building utility data collection; mobile Oxford EarlyON programs; and accreditation for Woodingford Lodge.
The proposed budget reflects the community’s priorities as they were identified by people who took part in the 2022 Budget Survey, an outreach to the public from all of Oxford’s municipalities that took place from June to August this year. Priorities for enhanced budget spending were housing (42%), waste management (38%), long-term care (36%), and child care and early years (31%). The survey also showed support for maintaining current levels of investment in roads and bridges (70%), paramedic services (67%), and community planning (64%). View the 2022 Budget survey infographic
The November 17 special budget meeting will be the first County Council meeting to allow public attendance since March 2020, after which meetings became virtual (online) under Ontario’s emergency orders for the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent County Council meeting held on November 10 was a test of a hybrid format featuring both virtual participation and in-person participation by County Councillors.
Public attendance at Council meetings beginning November 17 is limited to a capacity of 12 people. Those who attend will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and must show they are fully vaccinated by providing proof of a second COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior along with photo identification. Public attendance at Council meetings is subject to change depending on guidance from Southwestern Public Health.To download an enhanced vaccine certificate from the Government of Ontario visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/get-proof/.
Oxford County Council’s second special budget meeting takes place on November 24 at 2:00 p.m. The final budget incorporating Council’s direction will be presented at the regular County Council meeting on December 8.
To view the agenda for the November 17 special budget meeting visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/council.
For more information, to download the budget package, or to watch past recordings of special budget meetings, visit www.speakup.oxfordcounty.ca/2022budget.
Michael Duben, CAO, Oxford County
“The proposed 2022 Budget focuses on getting back to business after the pandemic: that is, ensuring we have the right supports in place for people and infrastructure as Oxford County continues to grow. While we expect the recovery from the effects of COVID-19 to extend for some time, including increasing costs for everything from supplies to insurance, staff has worked to bring forward a plan for the next fiscal year that positions us for long-term growth and stability.”
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 123,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that is driving innovation in sustainable industries and diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.