Council to Look at Preliminary Budget for 2020

Public Open House Budget Session

City Council will have a chance to take a look at the preliminary budget for 2020 during Monday evening’s meeting that has a tax increase of over 3 per cent.

This 374-page document in the council agenda sees a municipal levy increase of 3.05 per cent, which is approximately the requirement in order to offer the same amount of services in 2020, taking into account the cost increase in doing business.

The budget also takes into account added costs the city has no control over, such as fuel, levy and local board requirements (which see an estimated increase of 2.2 per cent consumer price index), etc., and negotiable salary increases.

The largest expense in the $118.5 million municipal levy for 2020 is the public works and engineering department, which accounts for 26 per cent of the budget. This is followed by local board and outside agencies, with 19 per cent, community development and enterprise services and corporate, capital and long term debt each at 14 per cent, levy boards at 12 per cent, fire services at eight per cent, corporate services at five per cent and legal at two percent.

The city’s CAO, mayor and council offices make up less than one percent of the expenses.

Expenses for the preliminary budget see an increase of 2.74 per cent, bringing it up to $181 million from the $176.2 million in 2019. Approximately one-third of this increase accounts for the levy boards, local boards and outside agencies.

City council will hear from its levy boards, local boards and outside agencies during Monday evening meeting; several of whom are asking for a funding increase. Council is allowed to set its level of funding for local boards and outside agencies as it sees fit.

The budget will be brought back to the table for deliberation on Dec. 9.