Oxford County surveying residents on upcoming 2018 budget

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The county will once again be asking its residents for their input on its upcoming budget.

This will be the second time Oxford County has sought public opinion on an upcoming budget, but this time the survey was released earlier to ensure that results can be considered before budgets are presented to council.

Residents will be asked to learn more about how various programs and projects are funded, and then asked whether they think those services should be enhanced, maintained or reduced for the coming year. In addition, the survey will also ask residents to rate their overall perception of the value for county tax dollars and indicate how they would like to participate in future budget consultations.

Corporate services director Lynn Buchner said that area municipalities will be partnering with the county for the survey.

"It's going to be a combination of both local and county services," Buchner said, "and we're going to be seeking the public's input on whether they would like to see those services improved, to stay the same or to be reduced to a certain extent."

Buchner said information collected that has legitimacy and merit will be turned into action items within the business plans and budgets.

"Regardless if we feel there is merit this year or perhaps in the future, all of the comments received will be presented to council," the director said. "That's just from the county's questions. The area municipalities will also be reporting to their respective councils in a way they feel fit ... The intent is that we will be informing our 2018 business plan and budget with the information we receive."

The survey was launched on June 14, and residents have a number of options as to how they can take part. It can be accessed online through Speak Up, Oxford! (www.oxfordcounty.ca/Your-Government/Speak-up-oxford) and paper copies of the survey will also be available through participating municipal offices, county library branches and the Oxford County administration building.

bchessell@postmedia.com

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