Council and community to discuss 2017 investment in City assets
2017 capital budget now open for public comment
Guelph, Ont., October 25, 2016 – Today, the City released the 2017-2026 recommended Tax-supported capital budget and forecast to City Council and the community. The recommended budget allows the City to live within its means while taking care of what it owns and planning for the future.
“This year’s budget is focused on taking care of existing infrastructure, systems and programs to ensure the community’s health and safety, and meeting legislative requirements,” says James Krauter, acting city treasurer. “Our recommendation for Council and the community is based on balancing affordability for the community with current and future capital and infrastructure needs of the city.”
The 2017 recommended capital budget includes a tax-supported operating contribution of 12.68 per cent of last year’s net tax levy (within the Council-approved guideline of 20 per cent). The City will be recommending debt financing $1.3 million of its capital program in 2017.
The funding breakdown of the total capital budget of $59.4 million includes the following revenue sources: grants (35 per cent), development charges (9 per cent), debt (2 per cent), transfers from capital reserves (52 per cent) and other (2 per cent).
City staff will present the recommended budget to Council on Thursday, November 3. During the meeting, community members are invited to make presentations supporting specific investments in buildings, roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, transit, parks, trails, and other assets and infrastructure.
New in 2017
City staff is recommending a 0.5 per cent infrastructure renewal levy, compounding annually, for 10 years to address Guelph’s infrastructure needs.
The historical under-funding of the tax-supported capital program has resulted in inadequate funds to cover the city’s needs today and in the future in areas of infrastructure renewal, growth and city building.
Guelph is not alone. Municipalities across Canada are, together with their councils and communities, exploring ways to deal with aging infrastructure and growing financial pressures. There are different ways in which municipalities can fund their infrastructure needs; the City, like other municipalities, is recommending an infrastructure renewal levy.
In 2016, the City created its Asset Management division to establish improved metrics and guidelines for municipal assets and to establish life-cycle replacement timelines. This information will help inform Council and senior administration to determine which programs of work receive funding through the infrastructure renewal levy.
As part of this work, the capital budget is now being presented in programs of work—a grouping of individual projects either by geographic area (e.g., Wilson Street) or type of work (e.g., vehicle replacement). These groupings will help Council and the community understand the financial connections between projects and budgets.
Have your say
Residents are invited to review the recommended budget and address Council on November 3, 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 tax-supported capital budget must register to delegate in person or submit their written comments by Friday, October 28 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.