Volume 12 Week 5

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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(Posted 1 p.m., Feb. 4)
Preliminary budget calls for modest tax hike, user fee increases
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The cost of living in Ottawa is going up this year for everything from property taxes to flushing your toilet.

The 2015 preliminary budget contains a two per cent residential tax increase, a 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares, a six per cent increase in water and sewer rates and a two per cent increase in recreation fees.

For an average home with a market vakue of $355,000, the tax increase represents an additional $67 on the municipal portion of their bill, while the water and sewer rate increase represents an additonal $18 over the course of the year for the average user.

Transit fares are also on the rise. A regular adult monthly pass will be going up from $100.75 to $103.25 will an express pass will be going up from $124.25 to $127.25.

Recreation and rental fees will be going up for the first time after a four-year freeze.

The draft budget also includes an envelop of $37.4 million to be used at the discretion of city council later this spring for so called "strategic initiatives".

During his budget address, Mayor Watson outlined a number of initiatives he'd like to see funded including more money for Invest Ottawa; housing and the homeless; and improved recreational services.

He also said a portion of the money could be spent on road safety measures. That's music to the ears of residents living on Forest Valley Drive in Chapel Hill and Viseneau Avenue in Chateauneuf who made the traffic situation on their streets during the last election. It's now up to Innes Ward Coun. Jody Mitic to get a share of those funds.

The draft budget also includes $15.9 million to extend Brian Coburn Way to Navan Road. There is no money in the budget for widening the Blackburn Bypass, or significant road resurfacing in any of the east end wards. Nor is their any money for significant curb and sidewalk rehabilitation.

Members of the public will have a chance to comment on the draft budget during a series of consultations over the next two weeks. The east end consultation will be held on Friday, Feb. 20at the Shenkman Arts Centre from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The various standing committees will begin deliberating on the budget on Feb. 17, during which public presentations will also be heard. For a complete schedule visit www.ottawa.ca.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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