3:30 a.m., Dec. 10)
Council approves city budget, 2.12% urban tax increase
By Fred Sherwin
city's urban ratepayers can expect to pay
an additional 2.12% per cent in property taxes
next year after council approved the 2016 budget
on Wednesday. File photo
city council passed the 2016 budget on Thursday, which
among other things, includes a 2.12 per cent tax increase
for urban property owners. That equates to an extra $72
for the average home worth $375,300.
figure includes an extra $11 per household for police
services and $17 for transit services. It does not include
a six per cent increase in the water and sewer rate which
is billed separately, or a 2.5 per cent increase in OC
the spending increases approved as part of the budget
is a 1.5 per cent increase in funding for community resource
centres; $40,000 per ward for traffic calming measures;
an additional $50,000 for low-income families seeking
access to recreation programs; and $3.5 million to upgrade
recreation centres, develop new splash pads and install
new play structures.
order to balance the budget while limiting the tax increase
to two per cent, the city needs to implement $37 million
in savings, by eliminating 50 full-time equivalent positions
along with reductions in advertising, winter operations,
overtime and consulting services.
number of recreation fees will also be going up in 2016.
Public skating fees will go up between five and 13 per
cent, and swimming fees will see an increase of between
six and 21 per cent. Ice rental fees will also be going
up. For instance, the hourly rate for minor hockey teams
will increase 5.6 per cent from $144.04 to $152.13.
the budget was passed, it did not receive unanimous consent.
Five of the 24 councillors voted against it, mostly because
of what wasn't in the budget.
Deans felt the budget fails to provide adequate funding
for the city's social service agencies. She introduced
a motion to commit a further $250,000 from the citys
one-time and unforeseen reserve fund and then replenish
the account by eliminating three additional staff positions,
but the motion was defeated 15-8.
Coun. Tobi Nussbaum wanted to freeze OC Transpo fares
and cover the cost by increasing the transit levy on the
tax bill, but his motion also went down in flames, losing
on a 17-6 vote.
Both motions were criticized be Mayor Jim Watson and severeal
couhcillors including Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais
who took issue with the dissenting councillors for complaing
about the pricess without putting foward alternatives.
money just doesnt appear from the sky, Blais
said. Those who want the process to change need
to change themselves.
and Nussbaum were joined in voting against the budget
by Rick Chiarelli, Jeff Leiper and Catherine McKenney.
All four east end councillors voted with the majority.
said the city is being as generous as it can be in light
of the current economic situation and financial pressures.
capital budget includes funding for a number of east end
$18.6 million to extend Brian Coburn Blvd. from Mer Bleue
Road to Navan Road
$5.5 million to add a full-service community centre to
the François Dupuis Recreation Centre in Avalon
$5.2 million for a new fire station south of Innes Road;
$750,000 for a district skatepark also south of Innes
$320,000 to complete the playground at the new Miracle
League of Ottawa baseball field
$280,000 has been set aside for the design work for the
future expansion of the Blackburn Arena
$210,000 towards the construction of Park 18B in Cardinal
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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