WINDSOR, ONT. -- The County of Essex has approved its budget for 2021 that will see taxes increase by less a percentage point.

The tax rate will go up by 0.49 per cent, which works out to about $4.70 for a home assessed at $200,000.

A $51-million construction program is a part of some the highlights within the budget.

The program includes $31.9-million for capacity expansion and a $12.4-million Road Rehabilitation program with more than two dozen projects.

The budget will also boost funding for the mega-hospital by $550,000.

The 2021 Budget has funding for an EMS Mental Health and Addictions Response Team pilot project to address community substance abuse issues.

The team, consisting of a VPN Paramedic and a staff member of a specialized partner agency, will respond to mental health and addictions calls and provide patients with specialized care.

Here are some other highlights of the budget:

  • Sun Parlor Home: A boost in the number of RPNs and PSWs to enhance patient care and the hiring of a coordinator to augment the efforts of the Infection Prevention and Control team.
  • Social Housing: Earmarking $1,650,000 for restoration of housing stock as part of a five-year capital plan with the City of Windsor to address $10 million in infrastructure requirements.
  • General Government: Hiring of a Procurement Officer to ensure value for money in the purchasing of supplies and services.
  • Credit Rating: AA+ with a stable outlook, the highest rating a County level government can achieve.