The 2019 city budget has been finalized as council last night approved a municipal tax levy increase of 3.54%
Almost 1% of that increase is attributed to an increase in funding to outside agencies and levy boards funded by the city.
This includes an over 200-thousand dollar increase to the Public Library Board—-that’s 129-thousand dollars less than what they had requested as they get set to open a new library branch at Northern Avenue at the Boreal French Immersion School site.
The Museum will also see its funding increased by 25-thousand dollars—-they will receive an additional 40-thousand dollars next year when those funds are shifted away from the Safe Community Partnership.
10-thousand dollars will be set aside for projects with area First nations.
Other notes from last night’s budget—–300-thousand dollars is being set aside to provide additional summer hours for transit service…36-thousand dollars will be set aside to implement the skating trail pilot…funds will also be used to add an additional by-law enforcement officer and a Chief Technology Officer…and the amortization period for the LED street conversion project will be extended an additional 5-years at a savings of over 400-thousand dollars.
There are a couple of unknowns for the city even with the budget passed…they still don’t know how much grant funding it will receive from the province through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund Program or what the surplus will be.
Council was told last night that the surplus will be less than the 1 to 1.5 million dollars that had been expected earlier due to snow maintenance costs.