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'Significant' growth in county sparks call for more staff

County of Simcoe is expected to reach half a million residents this year for the first time
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2018-12-11 County JO-007
Simcoe County Warden George Cornell. Jessica Owen/BarrieToday

The population of Simcoe County is slated to hit 509,000 in 2019, and the numbers are only expected to grow.

“Growth in the County of Simcoe is significant,” said county Warden George Cornell. “We’re projected to hit 800,000 residents by 2040.”

“It is a pretty significant milestone. We have half a million residents in the county that we are responsible for in terms of the services that we provide,” he added.

According to the budget document considered by county council earlier this week, population growth is one of a few numbers that stood out.

Even within their own ranks, the county budget included requests for 17 new staff members across all county departments to accommodate growth, adding $1.4 million in wages and benefits to the list of new needs.

Development charges are expected to be $25 million in 2019, up from $23.6 million in 2018.

Medical calls are projected to hit almost 78,000 in 2019, up 5.5% from 2018.

The Ontario Works monthly average caseload is projecting to hold steady at 5,600, the same as 2018. Previous to 2018, it had declined at a steady rate since it was 7,405 in 2014.

The social housing wait list is expected to go down slightly in 2019 to 3,268, after seeing minor year-over-year increases since 2014.

 

Where does the county money come from? It’s not just property taxes

Operating revenue: $455 million

  • Subsidies (One time or ongoing funding from provincial or federal programs) - $208 million (46%)
  • Service partners (Revenues for delivery of services to the cities of Barrie and Orillia) - $24.7 million (5%)
  • County Levy (Property taxes calculated on property assessment values) - $169 million (37%)
  • User Fees (Charged to users of a service that is not community wide) – $36.4 million (8%)
  • Transfer from Reserves (Funds that have been previously set aside to fund asset management plans, projects and other initiatives) - $11.7 million (3%)



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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings nine years of experience to her role as regional reporter for Village Media, primarily covering county matters, court, Collingwood and Barrie matters
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