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Budget discussions start with water, wastewater rate changes and new stormwater service fee
2017 non-tax-supported budget now open for public comment
Guelph, Ont., October 14, 2016 – Today, the City released the 2017 recommended non-tax-supported operating and capital budget to City Council and the community. This budget focuses on the services which residents pay for through rates, fees and charges. Community members have an opportunity to address Council about the budget and proposed rate changes through a written submission or during the October 26 meeting in Council Chambers at City Hall.
Today’s release is the first of four budget documents to be considered by Council. Over the coming weeks, the proposed tax-supported budgets (operating, capital, and local boards and shared services) will be released for Council consideration.
New in the 2017 budget:
In the 2017 recommended non-tax supported budget, community members will see the addition of Stromwater Services and a stormwater service fee. Stormwater services is not a new service for Guelph. Residents previously funded this service through their annual property taxes.
Like many other municipalities, Guelph is faced with the problem of aging infrastructure. Guelph’s stormwater management system needs upgrades, especially as severe storm events increase. Guelph is not alone in its move towards providing sustainable funding for this critical service Communities including Kitchener, Waterloo and Mississauga are using sustainable funding models.
Following a stormwater services funding study, Council approved of the implementation of a new service fee funding model on March 21.
“The City is investing in the services that matter to the community, one of which is stormwater services,” says James Krauter, acting city treasurer. “The shift from funding stormwater services through property taxes to a service fee provides a fairer, and more transparent and sustainable way to manage stormwater services.”
To provide clarity, the City has adjusted its 2016 budgets to reflect this change.
· The 2016 tax-supported budget was reduced by $1.9 million, which means the City will start 2017 with a base budget that is $1.9 million lower than its 2016 budget. Any increase to the City’s budget in 2017 will be over the adjusted 2016 budget amount.
· The 2016 non-tax-supported budget was increased by approximately $2.1 million to provide Stormwater Services with a base budget 2017.
The $200,000 difference between the tax-supported and non-tax-supported budgets is related to stormwater fees for City properties.
2017 recommended water, wastewater and stormwater rates and fees
Recommended rates and fees 2016 2017 change
Water volume – $/cubic metre (m3) $1.59 $1.67 $0.08
Water basic – $/day $0.26 $0.26 $0.00
Wastewater volume – $/cubic metre (m3) $1.73 $1.80 $0.07
Wastewater basic – $/day $0.32 $0.32 $0.00
Stormwater service fee – $/month $2.36 $4.00 $1.64
The recommended water, wastewater and stormwater service rates and fees, combined, would increase the average annual residential bill by $46 over 2016 rates.
The City’s estimates for water and wastewater are based on the average annual volume of water consumed by a three–person household in Guelph, which is estimated to be 180 cubic metres.
The 2016 monthly charge ($2.36) for stormwater services is an estimate of what residential property owners are paying for stormwater services through property taxes. The 2017 monthly charge is a recommendation to move the City towards sustainable funding for the service.
2017 recommended budget
The recommended $30.5 million operating budget and $180.2 million 10-year capital budget allows Guelph to continue delivering a safe and sustainable water supply while renewing aging infrastructure.
The recommended $30.9 million operating budget and $137.9 million 10-year capital budget supports continued optimization of Guelph’s wastewater systems.
The recommended $4.2 million operating and $40.7 million 10-year capital budget supports stormwater system sustainability, environmental protection and community safety as it relates to stormwater.
The recommended $3.4 million operating and $69,000 10-year capital budget includes continued investments to maintain the health and safety of the community.
The recommended $3.9 million operating and $504,300 10-year capital budget includes technology upgrades in order to enhance customer service.
Have your say:
Residents are invited to review the recommended budget document and address Council on October 26, and to follow the City’s budget news on guelph.ca/budget, Twitter (@cityofguelph, #GuelphBudget) and facebook.com/cityofguelph. Residents can watch Council meetings on Rogers TV.
Residents wanting to address Council on the non-tax-supported budget must register to delegate in person or submit their written comments by Friday, October 21 at 10 a.m. Please contact the City Clerk’s office at 519-837-5603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All budget documents and related information will be posted on guelph.ca/budget as they become available.
Coming up next:
October 26, 2016 – Non-tax-supported budget presentation to Council and public delegation (6 p.m.)
November 3, 2016 – Council deliberation and approval of non-tax-supported budget and capital budget presentation to Council (6 p.m.)
November 9, 2016 – Operating budget presentation to Council (6 p.m.)
November 16, 2016 – Local boards and shared services presentation to Council (6 p.m.)
November 23, 2016 – Presentation of recommended expansions and reductions (2 p.m.)
November 30, 2016 – Public delegation (6 p.m.)
December 7, 2016 – Council deliberations and approval (2 p.m.)
All Council meetings will be in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Carden Street.