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Home New Release Peterborough city council approves 2023 budget with 3.15% property tax increase

Peterborough city council approves 2023 budget with 3.15% property tax increase

Taxpayers in Peterborough will see 3.15 per cent property tax increase after city council approved the 2023 municipal budget on Monday.

The increase for a typical household will mean an additional $4.44 monthly — or $53.23 annually — per $100,000 of residential assessment.

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The City of Peterborough’s operating budget includes approximately $325.8 million for programs and services, such as waste management, road maintenance, wastewater sewers and treatment, social assistance, affordable housing, recreation, arts and heritage, fire services, and policing.

The capital budget includes approximately $131.2 million for various infrastructure and capital projects such as road work, a household organic waste composting facility and collection equipment, flood reduction efforts, facility maintenance, funding for the planned replacement of a fire station, sanitary sewer repairs, construction of a new twin-pad arena, and police capital projects.

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Only Northcrest Ward Coun. David Haaacke voted against the budget, saying “it isn’t even close to what the citizens of Peterborough put us here to do.”

The initial draft budget proposed a four per cent property tax increase but was trimmed down by 0.85 percentage points in subsequent consultations leading up to Monday’s vote.

“Council made changes to the draft budget to ensure that investments reflect the priorities of the community, including spending on critical infrastructure and providing support for housing and homelessness, while at the same time respecting the current financial conditions,” Mayor Jeff Leal said. “Our community is building a better tomorrow, together.”

The operating budget includes $29.1 million approved for the Peterborough Police Service‘s budget — a four per cent increase from the 2022 budget of $27.1M.

Council had initially asked the service to reduce its budget request but no changes were made. The service intends to hire five officers and six civilians in 2023 to help address the increasing calls for service and the city’s growing population.

Peterborough’s new police chief stands behind 4% budget increase

Other budget highlights:

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  • A freeze on the operating budget for Peterborough Transit — remaining at $18.2 million as it was in 2022. The city says it reduces the 2023 net requirement by $951,000.
  • Peterborough Public Health receives $1,357,100 in funding from the city — a one per cent increase over 2022. The health unit was asking for a 22.14 per cent increase in funding. The city will also use $287,780 from a reserve and contingency to provide additional funding.
  • $6.1 million in municipal spending for housing and homelessness services — a 5.7 per cent increase compared to 2022. The city says it includes support for approximately 2,000 social housing units, rent supplements, and the operation of four emergency shelters with 106 shelter beds.
  • $7.6 million in the capital budget toward the $21.2 million household source-separated organics program implementation with a city-wide green bin program expected to start in fall 2023.
  • $1 million for urban forest management strategic plan implementation for tree planting and urban forestry management
  • $750,000 to upgrade 3,000 street light fixtures to LED lights to help reduce energy use and costs.

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  • Deferring an $800,000 project upgrading water and sewer service to the Peterborough Airport until a land deal is reached with Cavan Monaghan Township to bring the airport property within the city’s boundaries.
  • Establishing a permanent, annual individual artist grant program at $50,000 a year via a three-year agreement with Electric City Culture Council with funding from the capital budget in 2023. The program will be built into the operating budgets in 2024 and 2025
  • Providing $281,800 from the capital levy reserve for the final two instalments of the city’s contribution to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network cell gap project as approved by council in 2019.
  • Deferring, until consideration in the 2024 budget, a proposed $150,000 project for the next stage of the development of a Downtown Heritage Conservation District Plan
  • Using $200,000 from the Social Services Reserve to add a third worker at the Wolfe Street overflow shelter program and Brock Mission men’s shelter to help individuals with better support for referrals to services and to assist with housing searches, develop more of a harm-reduction focus, address service restrictions differently, and other functions.

“Residents in our community are feeling the costs of inflation and the challenging economic environment in their daily lives,” said Coun. Andrew Beamer, council’s finance chairperson.

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“Municipal services are also impacted by those pressures. Council made difficult decisions to lessen the increasing cost of services for taxpayers, drawing from reserves to meet needs in some areas and cutting spending in other areas to push down the tax increase.”

More to come.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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