SD&G keeps budget increase to 2% 
Major money aimed at county road upgrades

by Matthew Uhrig
Press staff

CORNWALL – Roadwork is again a major focus of this year’s United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SD&G) budget.

All told, the upper-tier government is set to spend about $12.4 million on roadwork and bridge upgrades in 2015, an increase of about $2.6 million from last year.

The counties will increase its total reserves to more than $11 million, jumping $500,000 from 2014.

Overall, the budget carries a $40,959,216 uptick in tax dollars, an increase of two per cent, or $23 on a typical residential property in SD&G.

“I am very pleased with our 2015 budget, and how smoothly the process went,” Warden Eric Duncan said. “We finished 2014 in a strong financial position, and had some positive influences like the changes to the OPP billing model.”

On the policing side of things, total costs have decreased by about $1.3 million for 2015, and that is without a drop in service.

Meanwhile, a strong growth rate in SD&G has resulted in new assessments of more than $600,000.

“[The policing billing change] has produced a budget that allows us to take the steps forward, without having to take one back,” Duncan said. “We finally have a chance to catch up on some key county road projects.”

Other savings were realized with the end of major annual donations to several external organizations.

In the Township of North Dundas, Duncan’s home municipality, 10 different roadwork projects have been planned.

The work is meant to improve the overall quality of the counties’ road network.

Surface upgrades are to take place on County Road 1 in Hallville from County Road 32 to St. John Street ($339,000); Main Street in Winchester, also known as County Road 3, from west of Bailey Street to the county road’s continuation east of the village ($391,000); County Road 7 in Morewood from Thomas Street to the hamlet’s northern limits ($320,000); County Road 7 in Chesterville from South Street to the downtown bridge ($80,000); County Road 13 through Morewood ($119,000); County Road 13 from Morewood to County Road 32 ($717,000); County Road 31 in Winchester from the northern and southern points of County Road 43 ($958,000); and Winchester’s St. Lawrence Street (County Road 38) from Fred Street to Main Street ($221,000).

As well, frost heaving repairs on County Road 1 from Nelson Street to Cameron Road are to be completed, with a budgeted cost of $745,000, while the bridge in South Mountain along County Road 1 will see $1.2 million in upgrades.

The Municipality of South Dundas will also see its share of road projects completed this year. Upgrades include County Road 1 from west of Irena Road to the end of the curbed section ($69,000); County Road 16 in Dixons Corners ($47,000); County Road 18 in Williamsburg from County Road 31 to the east limits of the village ($125,000); and County Road 31 through Williamsburg ($227,000).

The Canadian National Railway bridge in Iroquois is also to undergo repairs, with a tax hit of $700,000.

Sixteen other road projects have been set for areas in SD&G’s remaining municipalities, with expenditure in the area of $4.9 million anticipated.

A further $75,000 has been earmarked for biennial bridge inspections for all 200 spans in the counties.

There is also $750,000 in uncommitted roadwork spending. Counties councillors are to meet again Mon., March 9 to determine where those dollars will be spent.

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