7:30 a.m., Nov. 28)
quo budget passes with little fanfare, even less debate
By Fred Sherwin
City council approved the 2014 budget on Wednesday,
which among other things, includes a 1.9 per
cent tax increase. File photo
homeowners can expect to pay an additional $62 in property
taxes next year after council passed the 2014 city budget
on Wednesday with very little fanfare and even less debate.
took councillors less than two hours to pass the budget
which was largely crafted by the mayor's office under
guidelines adopted by city council in 2010.
the guidelines was the directive that no new spending
could be added to the budget without offsetting savings
being found within the same silo.
one directive has eliminated the usual wishlists and pet
projects that used to take up hours of debate during past
budget deliberations. On the plus side, council's decision
to adopt tax increases in line or below the rate of inflation
has eliminated the need for making surgical cuts to departments
and programs year after year.
Watson cuts have largely come from the elimination of
surplus job positions. In 2014 another 55 positions will
be eliminated, saving nearly $4.5 million.
result is a budget that includes money for road resurfacing,
parks, energy saving initiatives, social housing and Improved
budget also contains a freeze in garbage collection fees,
an additional investment of $500,000 in the Arts, Heritage
and Culture Plan, and an ongoing freeze in parks and recreation
1.9 per cent tax increase is the lowest increase in seven
years and equates to an additional $62 for the average
urban homeowner and $55 for rural homeowners. In addition,
residents will pay $50 more for water and sewer services
after council approved a seven per cent hike in service
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
www.orleansonline.ca's main page