Prince Edward County approaches debt limit, seeks permission to exceed it

A two story medium sized building with a worn brown brick facade with white four pillared portico. Municipal government offices.
Prince Edward County Shire Hall in March 2022. Photo by Alex Wright.
Alexander Wright - CJPE - PictonON | 03-02-2023
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Prince Edward County is getting close to its debt limit and is in talks with the provincial government to exceed it.

On Wednesday, county staff reported to council during capital budget deliberations that up to 24.76 per cent of the municipal Annual Repayment Limit (ARL) on long-term debt servicing could be utilized if council adopts the Water and Wastewater Capital Plan and other 2023 proposed projects (including the H.J. McFarland Long Term Care Redevelopment).

Currently, the province mandates that municipalities may only utilize 25 per cent of its ARL per year, which is calculated from municipal revenues.

“Do I think that we have a reliance on debt as opposed to increasing our reserve transfers? I do, I do feel like we are getting to a limit where we have more asset management plans coming forward, we have more water-wastewater projects, reserves are low, and we are reaching our ceiling,” said Amanda Carter, director of Finance and IT.

Ameliasburgh Coun. Janice Maynard had the following to say about the state of county reserve funds:

Staff confirmed that talks are currently underway with the Ontario government to exceed allotted debt capacity.

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