THUNDER BAY – UPDATED – The proposed 2019 Municipal Budget forms the starting point for the City Council’s detailed review and provides an increase in the municipal tax levy after growth of $5.6 million or 2.95%.
“The demand for services continues to rise in our City, especially in the areas of emergency services and public safety,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “This budget addresses this without substantial cuts or decreases to services.”
“Additional funding for emergency services and our Long Term Care facility assisted in offsetting inflationary and other externally driven cost increases,” said Linda Evans, General Manager – Corporate Services & Long Term Care, Treasurer. “This budget proposes an increase to capital funding, recommended as we work towards addressing the City’s infrastructure funding gap.”
2019 Key Budget Drivers
- Removal of one-time contribution from Stabilization Reserve Fund to lower 2018 tax levy – $1.1 million
- Expansion to Police Services – $0.9 million
- Expansion to Superior North EMS Paramedic Services – $0.4 million
- Other expansions primarily relating to roads and safety management – $0.5 million
- Continued transitioning of Solid Waste Diversion costs to tax-supported operations – $0.6 million
- Increase in Solid Waste Diversion contracted services – $0.6 million
- Increase to the capital budget funded by the tax levy – $1.2 million
- Estimated reduction in annual funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund – $0.9 million
Key drivers have been offset by an increase in provincial grant funding for Superior North EMS and Long-Term Care & Senior Services of $1.2 million, an increase in corporate revenues of $1.2 million along with operating reductions of $2 million primarily relating to reduced fringe benefit expenses, utility savings and the phase-out of the tax vacancy rebate program.
Investment in infrastructure renewal continues. The proposed 2019 Net Capital budget of $17.6 million represents an increase of $1.2 million over 2018 levels.
A Public Pre-Budget Deputation Meeting will take place on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 pm, at City Hall in Council Chambers. Council’s Budget Reviews will take place on Jan. 15, 17, 23, 30 with approval expected on Monday, Feb. 4.
The proposed 2019 Capital and Operating Budgets and Community Handbook are now available at the Waverley and Brodie Library branches, and online at thunderbay.ca/budget.
Updated: The City of Thunder Bay updated the report. The original stated that $0.9 million more for the Police Services Board.