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County budget funds transit start-up in New Tecumseth, triggers Simcoe Village

Posted November 4, 2019

Simcoe County's 2020 budget proposes to spend $530 million in operating and capital expenditures that requires $178 million from taxation to finance, an increase of $8.3 million over last year. If approved, the County's portion of the property tax bill would go up by $5.58 per $100,000 of assessment, a two per cent hike.

The budget includes $4.2 million to purchase 10 new buses - one 32-seat; seven 24-seat; and two para-transit vans - to begin new regional transit routes: Alliston via Beeton to Bradford's GO Station. There is no mention of a Tottenham connection in the budget package. And no final details are confirmed yet pending budget approvals. The other route will link Penetanguishene / Midland via Tay and Severn Townships to Orillia.

Simcoe County's regional transit system is an inter-municipal hub to hub service, that started with a Midland to Barrie route in August 2018 and a second phase of the transit roll-out in
August 2019 which was the assumption of the Collingwood/Wasaga Beach Route and the addition of two new routes; Route 2 - Wasaga Beach via Clearview and Essa to Barrie, and Route 3 Orillia via Oro-Medonte to Barrie route.

More than $9 million is in the budget for "the first year of expenses towards the redevelopment of Simcoe Manor and Simcoe Village into a combined campus referred to as Simcoe Village."

The $153 million project, will be modelled after the 60+ lifestyle community of Georgian Village in Penetanguishene.

"Simcoe Village is planned to include a larger long term care home with 156 beds, seniors co-housing, affordable housing apartment units, life lease suites, life lease garden homes, retirement living, rental townhomes and a village centre with retail amenities. The site development will also include space for future growth, including parking."

The County employs more than 1,960 full and part-time employees. Their salaries and benefits will cost ratepayers $155 million, an increase of about $5 million over last year, or 3.3 per cent. Simcoe County Warden and Councillors will see their salaries increase in 2020, and the Warden will receive a new vehicle for his use.

The County's long term debt will grow to $249 million and require $7.1 million in principal and interest payments in 2020 to service it. Unfinanced development charge reserves have grown to over $97 million.


Click to read the draft budget's executive summary


All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri