The total amount required from taxation to support City operations is $100 million, an increase of 2.6% over 2016 once growth has been considered.
The budget is a signal the City is making significant progress toward long-term goals of sustainability and affordability. The budget takes steps to minimize debt, enhance service levels of core services and invest in new growth.
“Council was faced with difficult choices again in this budget. Going in, we faced a 5% forecasted increase to maintain operations. Council and staff worked hard to find efficiencies and savings to maintain and expand operations while keeping the increase to 2.6%. We are investing into our roads, downtown cores, development opportunities and the services that residents and cottagers value highly,” commented Mayor Andy Letham.
Expectations for the City budget remain high and it is designed to deliver on many Council priorities including: continued maintenance and improvement of 2700 kilometres of roads; provide safe communities protected by police, fire and paramedic services; protect the environment and prolong the life expectancy of our landfills; deliver clean water and wastewater services over a service area of 3200 square kilometres; provide better access to housing and other social services; improve accessibility of Lindsay Transit, sidewalks and buildings and much more.
The City’s Director of Corporate Services, Mary-Anne Dempster stated, “The 2017 Operating and Capital Budgets maintain and invest in the core services that residents expect, while also beginning to invest in the infrastructure necessary to support a geographically vast City such as Kawartha Lakes. We continue to strive to achieve this with the lowest possible cost to taxpayers through maximizing efficiencies, sourcing all funding opportunities and reducing the City’s footprint with respect to the number of assets owned and maintained.”
Final budget documents will be available on the City’s website by December 21, 2016.