The 2020 Budget approved by City Council on Monday evening includes capital investments into municipal infrastructure, funding for the maintenance and preservation of existing assets/services and support for new initiatives to assist with addressing our community’s demographic and labour force challenges in a fiscally responsible manner. To facilitate the implementation of the budget, Council approved an increase of 1.47 percent of the municipality’s portion of the levy.
“The 2020 budget includes several investments that support our efforts to further develop a vibrant community with a bright future by addressing our challenges and building on our strengths. The Mission for the City of Sault Ste. Marie is to promote, encourage and lead economic and social growth within our community through the effective provision of municipal services, and we look forward to working with City Council to implement the priorities contained within the budget,” states Malcolm White, CAO.
Highlights of the municipality’s portion of the budget include:
- Capital Investments of $67.8 million into transportation (road reconstruction and resurfacing, transit fleet replacement), recreation and culture (waterfront boardwalk repairs, downtown plaza), protection (fire tanker replacement) and environmental (West End Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades and Biosolids Management Facility).
- Maintain existing infrastructure and programming such as the Clergue Park Skating Trail and neighbourhood block party programming and events.
- Third-party parking by-law enforcement for outside the downtown core.
- Multi-purpose evening and weekend programming at the Northern Community Centre.
- Continuing to implement the FutureSSM pillar of enhancing Arts, Culture and heritage with the allocation of approximately $50,000 for related projects.
- Investment in training for fire services officers and emergency vehicle training as outlined in the Fire Services Master Plan.
- Dedicated financial resources into maintaining Public Works equipment.
- The addition of an apprenticeship position, training youth for the much-needed trades demand.
Moving forward, completion of an update to the strategic plan and Official Plan, along with a Municipal Reference Model study and Audit and Accountability review, will guide staff as they work to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of service delivery.
“I commend City staff for their hard work in finding efficiencies across the entire organization,” adds White. “We have developed solid budgetary policies and processes that we can rely upon, and continue to work to build upon, to ensure that we allocate our resources responsibly.”
The City of Sault Ste. Marie appreciates the suggestions and comments it received throughout the budget process and thanks the community for their ongoing support.