City of Greater Sudbury Presents 2017 Budget Plan
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 15, 2017
Moving Our City Forward: Focusing on Services and Performance
City staff presented the proposed 2017 budget plan to the Finance and Administration Committee on November 15. The budget outlines the City’s business plans for the upcoming year, and related costs and revenues associated with delivering the services residents rely on every day.
The budget reflects service efforts designed to achieve Council’s strategic priorities, strengthen the City’s financial condition, address infrastructure renewal needs and improve services. Information is presented to clearly demonstrate the relationships between services, service levels and costs.
Staff built the 2017 budget based on City Council’s direction, which included maintaining existing service levels, producing a business case for any service level changes, increasing reliance on non-tax revenues, and amounting to no more than a 3.6 % property tax increase.
“The financial decisions we make as a Council are essential to a vibrant and bright future for our community,” said Ward 7 Councillor and Finance and Administration Committee Chair Mike Jakubo. “I look forward to engaging in very important and strategic conversations with Councillors and staff during this year’s deliberations, in line with Council’s priority of responsive, fiscally prudent open governance.”
2017 operating budget expenditures total $537 million, which, with recommended 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.
Direction was also provided to include a 7.4 % user rate increase for water/wastewater services, consistent with the service area’s long-term financial plan.
Additionally, Council asked staff to identify capital projects that can be advanced through funds from a special 1.5 % capital levy. This would translate to a $3.6 million investment to strengthen the quality and reliability of the City’s infrastructure.
The 2017 capital budget is $229.7 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.
A few highlights of the 2017 budget include:
• Investing in our roads with $133.6 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 $16.8 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 sewer mains.
• Investing in our community’s safety with a new aerial fire truck, three ambulances and two paramedic response vehicles.
“I am confident that, as we put the plans described in the 2017 budget into action, staff will demonstrate our focus on service and performance and residents will see positive effects in their daily lives and throughout the community,” said City of Greater Sudbury Chief Administrative Officer Ed Archer. “The new budget process as a whole is part of a series of actions designed to strengthen the community’s trust in the organization and build confidence in our ability to produce results.”
The new 2017 budget process is the first of a multi-year change effort in municipal business planning and budgeting. It emphasizes strategy and provides more information to illustrate the relationship between services, service levels and costs. The budget development process included a number of community engagement opportunities, including web, print and social media outreach and public meetings with senior staff held across the city.
The Finance and Administration Committee is scheduled to discuss and approve the 2017 budget at its December 6 meeting. City Council will be asked to provide final approval of the budget at its December 13 meeting.
These meetings are open to the public and are live streamed at www.greatersudbury.ca. Residents are encouraged to attend or tune to get involved in this very important municipal process. Visit www.greatersudbury.ca/budget to view the budget document.