Windsor

Essex County Council votes for 0.5% hospital levy

Wednesday night, county mayors and deputy mayors of the seven municipalities that make up Essex County voted unanimously to support the hospital levy.
Essex County Warden Tom Bain, left, is happy the county has approved its share of mega-hospital funding, while Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens will pitch a city plan Monday. (CBC File Photo)

Essex County Council has approved a 0.5-per-cent levy to help pay the county's share of the proposed mega-hospital.

Wednesday night, county mayors and deputy mayors of the seven municipalities voted unanimously to support the levy.

Lakeshore Deputy Mayor Al Fazio and Leamington Mayor John Paterson were absent.

"It was very encouraging," Essex County Warden Tom Bain said. "County council has always been very supportive of the new hospital. And now, with that funding proposal passed by the county, we'll be waiting to see what the city does."

The levy in Essex County will raise about $93 million, or 46 per cent of the $200 million needed locally.

The levy will be in place over the next 20 years but Bain said the county will look at the formula 10 years from now, when the city and county share of the money has to be in place.

Windsor City Council will vote Monday on whether to fund its share, which is about 54 per cent of the total.

The matter was deferred earlier this week because one city councillor could not be in attendance.

According to city administration, Windsor's share of the funds would be raised "by way of a one-time dedicated property tax levy increase of $8,450,000 (2.19 per cent) starting in 2016, which would be reduced to $3,500,000 in 2026 and eliminated in 2028."

Monday, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens will be presenting a different proposal that will see the city take money out of reserve funds and from the Samsung solar project — though some new taxpayer funding will still be required. 

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