It took two days, a total of 11 hours, and nearly a million dollars added and taken back, but Guelph finally got a budget for 2016. As per tradition, the city's press office sent out a press release following the meeting announcing success.
Here's the press release from the City of Guelph:
Guelph, ON, December 10, 2016 – This evening, Guelph City Council approved a $216 million operating budget and a $61 million capital budget for 2016. This represents a 2.99 per cent tax increase over 2015. Based on the average household assessment for 2015 and the City’s 2015 tax policy, this amounts to an increase of $96.19 per household based on a home valued at $301,770. When combined with changes to Guelph’s water and wastewater rates, the impact on an average household is roughly $127.19 in 2016.
“The 2016 budget balances the diverse needs of our community,” says Janice Sheehy, general manager, finance and city treasurer. “Through community input, Council deliberation and employee support, Council has approved a budget that reinforces the City’s commitment to serve our community by delivering public services better while remaining affordable for taxpayers.”
Included in the approved budget are 21 expansions at a cost of $2.61 million with a 1.24 per cent tax impact, creating 18 full-time equivalent positions. Included in these expansions are two positions for the City’s Corporate Asset Management program which will enable the City to develop long-term sustainable funding strategies to maintain, repair and replace City infrastructure.
To fund the services that meet Guelph’s needs, the 2016 Budget focuses on improving and building on civic work already underway such as active transportation, downtown parking and Guelph Transit’s technology upgrades. The budget enables the City to support initiatives happening in our community such as the Special Olympics and the 2016 Community Wellbeing Grant program.
During the meeting Council also approved operating and capital budgets for all Local Boards and Shared Services—Guelph Police Service, Guelph Public Library, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health and the Downtown Guelph Business Association.
On October 28, City Council approved non-tax-supported operating and capital budgets for Guelph’s Water and Wastewater Services, Ontario Building Code Administration and Provincial Offences Court Administration.
In the coming days, the City will detail the budget highlights on guelph.ca/budget. The approved 2016 budget will be compiled and published online in the coming months.
The impact on the average household is subject to change with the approval of the City’s 2016 tax policy. Once this information has been finalized, the impact on the average household, as above stated, will be updated on guelph.ca/budget.