City Council Approves 2021 Municipal Budget
Following deliberations by the Finance and Administration Committee, City Council has approved the 2021 Municipal Budget with significant investments in roads and drainage, water and wastewater, transitional housing, Pioneer Manor, information technology solutions, building renewal and fleet upgrades.
Highlights of investments benefitting the community in 2021 include:
- $59 million to upgrade and modernize long-term care facilities at Pioneer Manor cost shared with the Province and financed over 30 years.
- $5.2 million for construction of a Therapeutic Leisure Pool at the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre.
- $1.1 million to fund transitional housing to place and support individuals with mental health and addictions.
- $400,000 for the purchase of an all-in-one Automated Pothole Patching Machine to improve roads infrastructure maintenance, part of our ongoing commitment to demonstrate asset management and service excellence.
- $500,000 investment for creation of a municipal easement database that will assist various departments including Legal, Building Services, Engineering to record, maintain and support municipal infrastructure.
- $480,000 to hire additional Personal Support Workers and increase part-time hours in the Nursing - Direct Care department and $172,000 to fund Registered Practical Nurse positions to support infection prevention and control, further support in health care and safety for residents at Pioneer Manor.
- Funding for Community Improvement Plans, providing financial incentive programs designed to revitalize and redevelop Downtown Sudbury, Town Centres and Brownfield properties in the community.
- $2.1 million for COMPASS, a project that will develop technology which introduces time and activity reporting processes that will further increase operational efficiency and improve service delivery.
- $1.8 million of additional funding for Whitson Trail.
Council approved a budget with a 4.0 per cent tax increase. For a typical home assessed at $230,000, this means approximately $10 more a month than 2020 property taxes.
“The 2021 municipal budget is a true picture of resiliency in the face of adversity,” said Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger. “This has been a budget like no other. I’m proud of what we’ve established as our business plan for the upcoming year, even while facing ongoing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Council and staff for their dedication in establishing a budget that reflects continued investment in our community, while keeping our commitment to ensuring residents have access to quality municipal services.”
“The 2021 municipal budget is a comprehensive document that shows the community exactly how taxes will support municipal services for the year.” said Mike Jakubo, Ward 7 Councillor and Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. “I want to thank staff and Council for the countless hours spent establishing a financial plan that delivers services that will benefit the entire community.”
The 2021 Operating Budget is $641 million and includes costs to perform routine operations, deliver Council’s approved service levels for the operation of the City’s 58 lines of business, and strategies to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 48 per cent of the operating budget is funded by property taxes.
2021 Capital Budget
The $144.1 million capital budget ensures the best investment choices are made by ranking projects based on standard criteria and moving forward with the highest priorities, with 72 per cent spending on roads and water and wastewater infrastructure. The remaining 28 per cent will fund projects in other areas, including leisure services, environmental services, fleet and facilities, paramedic services and police.
Highlights of the 2021 capital budget include significant investments in roads and drains, water and wastewater, environmental services, housing operations, leisure services, transit, information technology, and facility and fleet upgrades. Highlights include:
- $58.3 million invested in road upgrades and drainage projects including:
- $19.3 million for various Arterials/Collectors throughout the City.
- $14.6 million for various bridges & culverts.
- $12.6 million for various road improvements for joint locations with water/wastewater improvements.
- $4 million for the replacement of the Frobisher Depot salt and sand storage facility.
- $400,000 for the asphalt pothole patching machine
- $45 million for water and wastewater projects including:
- $8.3 million for water main projects.
- $5.3 million for sanitary sewer replacement and rehabilitation projects.
- $6.5 million to maintain and further improve GOVA transit by accelerating the replacement of transit buses.
- $3.8 million for investments in leisure services including:
- $2.2 million (2021 impact) for the Therapeutic Pool.
- $215,000 towards the expansion of the Civic Cemetery Mausoleum.
- Funding for the outdoor courts upgrade project.
- $4.1 million (2021 impact) capital investment for the Pioneer Manor bed redevelopment project.
- $4 million for facility lighting and mechanical upgrades and a continued investment of $650,000 to support ongoing building condition assessments and accessibility needs.
- $3.3 million investment in environmental services including:
- $1.6 million in upgrades at the Sudbury Landfill Site
- $1.2 million for replacement of the tipping floor at the Recycling Centre Facility.
- $4.9 million investment in information technology initiatives including $2 million for the Land Management Information System, which will streamline workflows for development applications as well as $1.6 million (2021 impact) for the COMPASS project.
- $3.2 million for fleet improvements including the replacement of various vehicles and equipment.
- $1.8 million for construction of the Whitson Trail.
“While there are ongoing uncertainties related to the impact of COVID-19, this budget includes a financial plan that balances affordability and the community’s service needs, all while continuing to advance the goals described in Council’s Strategic Plan,” said Ed Archer, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Greater Sudbury. “The teamwork and collaboration on display throughout this budget development process was second to none. I thank Council for their ongoing leadership and I thank staff for their continued commitment to excellence in planning and delivering municipal services.”
The 4.8 per cent water/wastewater user rate increase is in line with the long-term financial plan for the service. Municipal water and wastewater services are fully funded by end users, as mandated by the province, with no impact on property taxes. There are approximately 48,000 water/wastewater customers in the community.
The City is responsible for more than 1,800 kilometres of water and wastewater mains and the operations of the Biosolids Management Facility, 12 wastewater treatment facilities, two water treatment facilities, 23 water supply wells, 69 sewage lift stations, 12 booster stations and nine water storage facilities. These assets are critical in the delivery of clean drinking water to residents, and the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of wastewater.
From November 27, 2020 to January 15, 2021, the City offered virtual engagement opportunities to residents in the community for the 2021 Budget. Residents were invited to learn more about the budget and share feedback on spending priorities and desired service levels. Additional feedback was received through the platform and via email. Along with the online submissions, two virtual budget information sessions were held for the community.
Engagement participation for the 2021 Budget more than doubled from the previous year. This included 2,600 visitors to the 2021 budget project page on Over to You, an increase from 1,100 visitors to the 2020 budget project page. The engagement campaign for the 2021 budget generated the most surveys completed for a budget project (507) and the most contributions to ideas generated (160) of all the projects on Over to You. Across all avenues, residents placed a strong focus in the areas of drinking water, water wastewater and stormwater, winter maintenance, road maintenance, garbage and recycling, and emergency services.
Findings from the survey along with more information on the 2021 Budget are posted at www.greatersudbury.ca/budget.