At the regular meeting on October 25, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) discussed the preliminary 2024 budget as presented by Mélanie Gratton of the Finance department. The capital and operating budgets haven’t entirely been decided yet, but the document does propose a 4.25 percent increase in 2024 taxes. This was originally set at 3.61 percent, but during the meeting council decided to set aside more funds for community organizations within the municipality and debt payments associated with the Prescott and Russell residence.
Russell Township mayor Pierre Leroux suggested allocating funds to Regroupement Autisme Prescott-Russell (RAPR), which currently has a $43,000 deficit, and Hawkesbury mayor Robert Lefebvre mentioned that the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) submitted A funding request for $200,000. Russell Township, Clarence-Rockland, and the Nation municipality all requested an increase to the Cultural Fund amounts they receive since they have the largest population in the UCPR.
CAO Stephane Parisien noted that many more organizations will request space in the budget in the weeks ahead and recommended an organization funding policy, which was approved. In the meantime, Leroux suggested the 4.25 percent increase to deal with the items already mentioned, further suggesting that any leftover amounts could go towards the new Prescott and Russell residence.
The original 3.61 percent increase would have resulted in an extra $16 on a resident’s tax bill per $100,000 of valuation. The new 4.25 percent increase will instead result in approximately $18.84 per $100,000, or approximately $52.98 for the average home value of $281,906 in the UCPR. The final draft of the 2024 budget will be presented for approval at the next regular meeting on November 22.