City Council Approves the 2017 Budget with a Focus on Services and Performance

15-Dec-2016

City Council approved the 2017 City of Greater Sudbury budget at a special meeting on December 14.

For 2017, operating budget expenditures total $541 million, which, with approved service level changes, amounts to a 3.6 % property tax increase. For a typical home with an assessed value of $230,000, this is equivalent to an increase of approximately $100 over 2016 taxes.
The 2017 Budget outlines business plans for the upcoming year and related costs and revenues associated with delivering the services residents rely on every day. It reflects service efforts designed to achieve Council’s strategic priorities, strengthen the City’s financial condition, address infrastructure renewal needs and improve services.

“Infrastructure investments in the 2017 capital budget are more than double 2016 levels,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. “By investing in our infrastructure, we are investing in our future. We are prioritizing spending choices, building and rebuilding our community’s foundation. This was year one of a new budget process, led by Ed Archer, our Chief Administrative Officer. I want to thank Council and staff for participating in a new approach that emphasizes accountability for results and shows residents the services they’re going to receive for their taxes. ”

A Water/Wastewater rate increase of 7.4 % was also approved, in line with the long-term financial plan. This amounts to an approximate $6.38 monthly increase for the average homeowner, about $76.50 more yearly over 2016.

The 2017 capital budget is $222.6 million, reflecting an influx of funding from senior levels of government for roads, transit, water/wastewater and other projects. It includes infrastructure investments to improve services to the community and reduce the risk of service interruptions caused by the failure of assets that have reached the end of, or have exceeded, their useful service lives.

“The 2017 budget makes important investments in municipal services and infrastructure that are critical to our community’s long-term growth and quality of life,” said Ward 7 Councillor and Finance and Administration Committee Chair Mike Jakubo. “City Council is committed to ensuring your tax dollars are spent responsibly and I am confident that this budget, with improved services, and key investments in roads, transit and water/wastewater infrastructure, will have positive impacts for residents across Greater Sudbury.”

Highlights of the 2017 budget include:

  • Investing in our roads with $133.8 million in construction and repair to build the City’s transportation network, including the First Phase of the Maley Drive Extension, bridge and culvert replacements, and more.
  • Investing in winter road maintenance with $17 million allocated to this service area, and the replacements of four snow plows, ensuring service levels are reliably maintained.
  • Investing in our community with six new, fully accessible Transit buses, reducing the average fleet age to 13 years.
  • Investing in our environment with water and wastewater infrastructure projects to replace aging water and wastewater mains.
  • Investing in our community’s safety with a new aerial fire truck, three ambulances and two paramedic response vehicles.

Approved service level changes include:

  • An Asset Management Coordinator to help build policies and operating plans that ensure appropriate long-term planning for asset maintenance and timely renewal.
  • An extension of the Ramsey Lake Skate Path to the Northern Water Sports Centre to enhance the winter skate path for residents, and allow use of the Northern Water Sports Centre as a winter destination point.
  • An additional $2 million investment in road work with large spreader laid patches to reduce the reoccurrence of potholes.
  • A $5 million capital commitment to Place des arts, one of the four large projects endorsed by Council in principle in 2016, conditional on the group meeting specific requirements and securing the remaining funds needed to complete the project.

“The 2017 budget emphasizes strategy and provides information to illustrate the relationship between services, service levels and costs,” said City of Greater Sudbury Chief Administrative Officer Ed Archer. “Staff appreciates Council’s support for the plans we recommended and look forward to delivering results throughout 2017 and reporting our progress.”

Visit www.greatersudbury.ca/budget for more information.