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2012 guelph budget

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Among budget decisions, there will be a hree per cent increase to most recreation fees to offset the increasing costs associated with delivering programs and services

Council passes budget that sees 2.97 per cent tax increase

Guelph city council approved a $185,187,614 million operating budget Dec. 5 and $51,470,300 million capital budget for next year. This presents a 2.97 per cent increase for Guelph taxpayers; an average increase of $97 per household valued at $292,000.
The 2013 operating and capital budgets are aligned with the city’s 2012-16 strategic plan. The plan sets a path for Guelph to adapt and respond to the needs of a growing, more complex community, said a city news release.
With energy costs increasing by 1.9 million over 2012, city council voted to invest $1.45 in the Corporate Energy Management Plan as part of next year’s budget. The plan, said the city release,  allows the city to avoid future costs as energy prices continue to increase. The city expects to reduce costs by at least $83,000 next year and $166,000 per year thereafter.
Budget approvals will see the implementation of Guelph’s Corporate Technology Plan to provide easier, quicker access to city information, more opportunities for community engagement and open government principles to enhance transparency and accountability said the release/
“By investing $1,486,500 in 2013, the City can modernize internal systems, deliver public services better and move toward real-time government,” said Al Horsman, chief financial officer.
Council also approved a $137,800 investment in the Community Wellbeing Plan—a 10-year action plan for individuals, community partners and the City to work together to create a community where people can live life to the fullest.
Other budget highlights, said the city’s news release, include:
• Elimination of Christmas tree collection service for a savings of $22,000 and, in the coming weeks, the City will promote alternative options for residents to dispose of Christmas trees
• Continuation of residential sidewalk snow plow service at a cost of $100,000
• Three per cent increase to most recreation fees to offset the increasing costs associated with delivering programs and services
• Five per cent increase to parking rates and fines to help cover the increasing cost of maintaining lots and other parking infrastructure
• Addition of six adult crossing guards and a crossing guard coordinator to address safety concerns in high-traffic school zones
• Addition of a full-time fleet safety and efficiency trainer to enhance ongoing driver training programs and increase fuel efficiency
• Investment of $260,000 to implement Guelph’s Urban Forest Management Plan to preserve, protect and enhance the City’s natural infrastructure
• Investment of $3.7 million to purchase the land needed to redevelop the site on Baker Street site in preparation for a new main library
* Investment of $150,000 from within the 2013 capital budget to prepare Eastview Park for development in 2014
* Establishment of a $500,000 efficiency target to be achieved through process improvements, partnerships and other savings throughout the organization
The 2013 operating and capital budget includes $69.3 million to cover operating and capital costs for local boards and shared services budget (Guelph Public Library Board, Public Health, Social Services and Social Housing, Downtown Guelph Business Association and Guelph Police Services Board).
On October 24 Council approved $82.8 million operating and capital budgets Guelph’s Water and Wastewater Services, Ontario Building Code Administration and Provincial Offences Court Administration.
Look for more details in the Dec. 11 edition of the Guelph Tribune.

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