“It’s the first for East Hawkesbury to get the budget approve so early,” said Luc Lalonde, township chief administrator.
Early approval of the new municipal budget means the township has a better chance of getting lower costs on some of its capital works projects this year. At the beginning of a new year, most contractors are willing to reduce their prices when they bid on public works tender calls, just so they can be sure to have contracts before the start of spring construction season.
Township council met December 23 for its final meeting of 2019 before the Christmas break, to review and approve the final 2020 budget report. The municipal budget is $5,137,855, which includes the municipal property tax levy of $2,255,963. This year’s tax levy is 2.5 per cent more than the 2019 levy.
Mayor Robert Kirby expressed satisfaction at the efforts of administration to keep the tax increase for 2020 down to 2.5 per cent. During a phone interview, he said the budget will meet the needs of the municipality for the year, which includes finishing the Grande Montée Road improvement project.
The township also has plans for creating a new community centre for the village of Saint-Eugène, after the old one was closed down and declared unsuitable because of mould and mildew problems. Mayor Kirby noted that the township will need senior government funding assistance for that project.
“It’s all possible if we can get the support from the province and the federal government,” he said. “It would be good if we could do something with that.”