A look at some of the budget details
On March 26, 2015, City Council approved a $207 million operating budget and a $52 million capital budget for 2015. This represents a 3.55 per cent tax increase over 2014.
The following highlights some of the approved budget items for 2015.
- Victoria Road Recreation Centre expansion: $9.9 million to complete funding requirement, and to improve and expand services
- Niska Road Bridge: $200,000 directed to complete the environmental assessment (EA) and detailed design work for the approved bridge option; bridge option has yet to be determined
- Stone Road expansion: $2.5 million to enhance pedestrian and cycling facilities
- York Road: $200,000 to complete the EA for the reconstruction of York Road
- West Parkade structural rehabilitation: $500,000 to ensure parkade remains up to code
- Salt dome replacement: $2 million to replace salt domes which are at the end of their lifecycle
- Affordable Housing Reserve: $250,000 added to the reserve
- Guelph Innovation District:$ 50,000 directed for the strategic business development framework
- Communication and Education Plan (shared rental housing): $15,000 directed towards this plan
- Active transportation: $600,000 directed to Woodlawn multi-use corridor ($300,000 had been forecasted in 2014 for 2015 and 2016 respectively. Council approved the allocation of all required funds to complete the project in 2015.)
- Traffic management: $85,000 directed toward this initiative which will investigate traffic calming measures in various locations throughout the community
- Transit technology plan
- Trapeze System: $120,000 directed towards the bus scheduling system
- Control Room supervisors: four FTEs
- Geographical Information System (GIS): $97,000 directed for the Enterprise Licence Agreement, Open 311 and Easement Layer
- Open Government: budget approved for a one year contract and technology to provide improved service to the community. Examples include expanding the City’s open data catalogue and tools and building a website that will allow the public to access additional online services
- Full-time staff
- 2015 User Fees/Permits
- Program registration fees will increase three per cent on average. The program registration rates published in the 2015 Spring/Summer Guelph Community Guide reflect the approved increase.
- General admission fees will increase three per cent on average. The admission fees for swimming, public skating and amusement rides at Riverside Park published in the 2015 Spring/Summer Guelph Community Guide reflect the approved increase. Admission rates for Guelph Museums are listed on guelph.ca/museum.
- Indoor facility rental fees will increase three per cent on average. Outdoor facility rental fees will increase 10 per cent on average. For more information on Guelph’s facility rentals, visit guelph.ca/facility.
- On- and off-street parking will increase five per cent
- On January 28, Council approved a 4.1 per cent increase to water/wastewater rates
- Guelph Transit’s Sunday and Holiday service will remain unchanged from 2014 hours
- City Council approved a change to the City’s overnight parking regulations, specifically, that the overnight parking restriction (no parking on streets between 2 and 6 a.m.) be in effect from December 1 to March 1, effective December 1, 2015. This is a reduction in the restriction from six to four months.
- The City will continue to explore partnerships to fund the proposed Baker Street redevelopment and relocation of Guelph Public Library; however, budget has not been allocated for this project in 2015.
- City Council approved an additional $500,000 in 2015 for the Rate Stabilization Reserve (total 2015 contribution is $600,000), which can be used to offset year-end variances
The 2015 approved budget will be available on guelph.ca/budget in the coming months.