Essex County passed its 2023 budget on Jan. 18, which includes a 3.81 per cent property tax increase.
The new tax rate translates into $18.95 for every $100,000 a property is assessed.
The county says the budget includes money for the Bridge Youth Resource Centre for affordable housing in Leamington as part of a 20-year commitment that started in 2021. The county will also give money to a Family Services Windsor-Essex's Homelessness Hub project that launched in September 2022.
The budget also includes a $200,000 increase for renewing aging affordable housing in the region – bringing the yearly affordable housing budget to $1.85 million.
The county is adding $6.36 million toward building the new Windsor Regional Hospital, which brings the county's reserves for the project to $40 million.
Sun Parlor Home in Leamington will receive increased staffing hours to work toward plans to have each resident in the long-term care home receive four hours of care per day. The increase in staffing hours means each resident will receive three hours and 43 minutes of care a day in 2023.
The county says it is also investing in acquiring land for a new paramedic base in 2023.
The county is spending $69.7 million on roads, including $5 million on bridge rehabilitation, which it says is the "largest bridge rehabilitation program in recent history."
Treasurer Sandra Zwiers said 2023's budget will make "significant infrastructure investments to accommodate anticipated residential and commercial growth while supporting vital social programs and the new Windsor Essex Hospitals system."