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2012 Guelph budget

Tribune file photo

Proposed cuts include eliminating residential sidewalk plowing, eliminating Christmas tree pickup, and introducing a new $35 fee when residents want to change the size of waste carts.

Proposed service cuts and tax hike spelled out in budget

A proposed 2013 operating budget that’s 3.74% higher than the city’s 2012 budget will be presented to city council Thursday.
The budget being recommended by senior city staff calls for several cuts to reduce the property tax impact in 2013.
These include eliminating residential sidewalk plowing, eliminating Christmas tree pickup, and introducing a new $35 fee when residents want to change the size of waste carts used in the new waste pickup system that’s being phased in over three years.
The list of cuts also includes increased parking fines and additional parking revenues, among other things.The budget includes an increase of $4.9 million, or 2.73%, in the city’s base operating budget for 2013.
It also includes an additional 1%, or $1.8 million, to “implement strategic initiatives to strengthen how the city works,” the budget document says.
These include spending on technology and energy-efficiency improvements. Also part of this proposed new spending is $260,000 to hire new staff to deal with urban forestry issues such as the threat of invasive species, including the emerald ash borer, the budget document says.
The total budget increase – before cuts proposed by staff – is $188.4 million, which is almost 5% more than the 2012 budget. To get closer to city council’s guideline of a 3% budget increase in 2013, staff have proposed cuts and other changes totalling $2.2 million.
These cuts include making residents responsible for disposing of their own Christmas trees and for clearing the sidewalks in front of their homes.
Senior city staff will present their budget to council at 6 p.m. Nov. 22, and council is set to debate and approve a budget on Dec. 5. Council will hear public delegations on the budget at a 6 p.m. meeting on Thursday Nov. 29 at city hall.

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