Tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 15th) morning City Council finalizes the budget for next year. Keep in mind this is just a smaller review. The previous Council set out a three-year budget beginning in 2012 and culminating in 2014. However, each year Council is able to tweak the budget. So without further ado, here is what we face tomorrow:
I'm going to try to make this as clear as I can without getting into too many details. I'm also still learning about the finer points, so bear with me.
Council has been presented with a number of spending proposals from administration and community groups. I've listed several of the larger ones ($500K+) below:
Artificial turf football field at CKC: $2.74 million
Eastlink Centre parking: $2.03 million
CGA Truss & Rigging upgrades: $2.66 million
Odyssey House Supportive Housing project: $700,000
Community Space at Isabel Campbell school: $500,000
City Hall First Floor redesign: $500,000
Other projects (< 500K): $1.5 million
Additionally, we are going to find out tomorrow the capital costs associated with the Leisure Centre and the Bear Creek pool renos as well as a list of road/storm water/traffic signal/trail projects.
So we are going to be faced with between $10-$20 million in new expenditure proposals.
Let's look where we're at on the revenue side:
The core operational and capital budgets have been set, but there is a small amount available to us that has not been allocated yet. These budgeted amounts are $3.4 million in operating and $3.7 million in capital. These amounts were originally budgeted for with a 3.3% tax rate increase, but due to a number of factors, these amounts now equate to a 1.8% increase.
In addition, there is a $3.4 million surplus from this year that could be used for expenditures. We'll have to discuss whether we would want to use that entire surplus up, or have it go into our Financial Stabilization Reserve for future expenditures. So in sum, there is about $10.5 million we have to work with (at a 1.8% tax rate increase). Of course, we could choose to higher/lower the tax rate. A 1% increase/decrease equates to a $900,000 change in revenues.
So there's the scoop. Tough decisions will have to be made; but that's what we were elected to do. Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts on the budget and/or specific proposals. If you have additional comments, let me know by 9am tomorrow! Feel free to watch us online starting at 9am or come on by City Hall to watch the action in person!