Council Roundup – November 9, 2011
November 10, 2011
2012 Operating Budget
The 2012 operating budget was tabled by Administration. This starts a four to six week process during which Council will hear from the public and debate services and their costs for citizens in 2012.
The City’s growth, inflation, additional staff for new facilities, a commitment to advance City goals and previous decisions by Council to add services (e.g. snow clearing) adds $108 million in expenditures to the 2012 budget.
The proposed budget includes more than $18 million in cost reductions to achieve Council’s guideline of a 3 per cent tax increase for civic services, plus 1.5 per cent dedicated to neighbourhood infrastructure renewal. The average household pays about $5 per day in property taxes for all City services including, police, fire, roads, transit, etc.
2012 - 2014 Capital Budget
City Council was presented the proposed capital budget identifying infrastructure renewal and new construction projects over the next three years. The $2.3 billion budget for building roads, recreation centres and LRT lines, among other infrastructure, will be debated after a November 23 public hearing and finalized likely by mid-December.
Some highlights include:
- LRT to NAIT
- New fire station
- New community recreation centres and libraries
- Replacing the Walterdale Bridge
- Expansion of the Mill Woods Senior Centre
- Enhancements to the Valley Zoo
- Road and sidewalk renewal in about 20 older neighbourhoods each year of the three-year plan
Council received an update on the design process for the new arena. More public input to follow.
Weeding out pesticide use
City’s plan to reduce pesticide use continues to work well, but completely phasing out pesticides will result in more weeds or more money to control weeds without pesticides.
Council Compensation Review
Council approved establishing an independent committee to review how much Councillors are paid and report back in 2012.
Anti vehicle-idling signs coming
Council asked Administration to draft a bylaw prohibiting vehicle idling around schools and medical centres. Administration will now coordinate with schools and medical centres to define specifically where, what vehicles would be exempt and at what temperatures the bylaw would apply, and return to Council for approval.