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Cornwall council budget’s big surplus to be used on future initiatives

Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt.
Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt. - SaltWire file photo

Although still under construction, a multi-million-dollar highway project is already having a major impact on the Town of Cornwall.

The arterial highway, which is set to open later this year, was a consideration when creating this year’s town budget.

Council passed the budget, which saw no increase in property taxes, utility rates or fees, during a recent meeting.

Mayor Minerva McCourt said the town is in the process of a creating an asset management plan and will soon be reviewing the town’s official plan, which has funding in the budget.

“These are all things that, moving forward, will help the town grow in a sustainable method,” said McCourt. “Once we get the arterial highway, we can plan better for the next 10 years as we do the official plan.”

This year’s budget projects consolidated town and utility revenues of $5,545,554 million and expenditures of $5,423,285. That leaves a projected cash surplus of $122,269, which would be put towards future capital projects.

While the budget saw capital spending kept to a minimum due to the highway construction as well as the town’s recent growth, it doesn’t mean there are no capital projects in this year’s budget.

“There are a lot of good things happening,” said McCourt. “Many of the projects (in this year’s budget) are a result of councillors listening to residents as they campaigned.”

Funds were included in the budget for new playground and recreation infrastructure at three locations, lighting for the Terry Fox Sports Complex ballfield and two mobile radar signs.

McCourt said all of those issues were raised on the campaign trail, as well as a pilot transit project that will see more runs added for the town.

Concerns over the future of water in the town, as well as safety, were also addressed in the budget. On the utility side, this year’s budget includes funds for upgrades the town’s lagoons and wastewater monitoring systems, development of a new wellfield, a watermain extension on Cornwall Road and a backup power generator to ensure water production continues during power outages.

The budget will also fund a general utility rate study.

McCourt said residents with questions or concerns about the budget should feel free to contact town hall or reach out to herself or other members of council.

“Cornwall is doing well and growing, and we try to ensure our residents’ opinions are heard.”

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