A look at some of the budget details
On December 10, 2015, City Council approved a $216 million operating budget and a $61 million capital budget for 2016. This represents a 2.99 per cent tax increase over 2015.
In approving the budget, Council approved $3.6 million in reductions to the base budget which included adjustments to purchased goods and services, revenue including a 15 per cent increase to vendor fees at the Guelph Farmers’ Market, and service level changes for Guelph Transit (described below).
Within the capital budget, Council approved 124 projects including but not limited to Transit fare box replacement, vehicle and equipment lifecycle replacements, bridge replacements/upgrades (including Niska Bridge), South End Community Park continued implementation, and downtown parkade construction.
The following identifies the additions or changes to the base budget, as approved by Council, for the coming year:
Chief Administration Officer (CAO)
- Open Government Action Plan: $214,200 to support the modernization of City services and includes one full-time equivalent
City Clerk’s Office
- Information and Access Coordinator: one FTE
- Information Technology
- GIS Program Manager: one FTE
Engineering and Capital Infrastructure Services
- Corporate Asset Management: two full-time equivalents (FTE)
- Waste Reduction Coordinator: one FTE (reallocated from a temp position)
Planning, Urban Design and Building Services (Non-OBC Administration)
- Zoning Inspector 1: one FTE
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment
- Special Olympics: $35,000 for a one time in-kind donation
- Community Paramedicine Program: $120,000 to support the continuation of this program (program received an estimated $60,000 grant for 2016)
- Gas Tax Realignment: $265,900 to reduce Transit’s reliance on funding that may not be available in the future. This change has zero impact on the tax rate.
- Canada Day Operation: $11,100 to support free transit for fireworks on July 1, 2016
- Sunday service will remain unchanged from 2015 hours; service scheduled for 30 minutes
- Holiday service will be changed to 60 minute service, all day
- Summer service will change to 30 minute service all day; peak hours will change from 20 minute service to 30 minute service
Guelph Transit – fares
- Cash fares remain unchanged for 2016 (remain at $3)
- Affordable bus passes – adult, youth and seniors – remain unchanged for 2016 (remain at $37.50, $32 and $31 respectively)
- Fare increase for 10-pack tickets, single tickets, day passes and monthly passes.
- 2016 rates have been posted on guelph.ca/transit
- Roads, and Right of Way Supervisors: two FTEs
- Licensed Electrician, Signs and Signals: one FTE
- Street Sweeping: $137,500 for implementation of an environmentally responsible disposal method for materials
- Sidewalk Maintenance: $434,500 to address repairs and ensure compliance, includes three FTEs
Parks and Recreation
- Mechanic in training/repair person: one FTE
- Sports Field Operator: one FTE
- Supervisor of Trails, Natural Areas and Stewardship: one FTE
- Trails Technician: one FTE
- Park Planner: one FTE
General and Capital Financing
- Affordable Housing Reserve: $100,000 annual transfer to reserve
On October 28, Council approved a four per cent increase to water/wastewater rates.
The 2016 approved budget will be available on guelph.ca/budget in the coming months.