A draft budget presented to city council Monday night suggests an increase of 5.58% on the levy.
This would translate into an additional average $83 tax burden per residence. Home owners will see an increase in their property assessment by some 4.5 %.
The report suggests a total city budget of $165 million dollars. Councillors will have to dig deep in order to keep the spending low. “It’s a baptism by fire for some of the new Councillors”, said Bernadette Clement. “I hope we can come out of it as friends” jokingly stated Mayor Leslie O’Shaugnessy.
Many things are contributing to the levy increase, including grants, long-term debt costs and contributions to reserves. Salaries (councilors and otherwise) are also a factor in the increase. Police, fire and ambulance service are also taking a huge chunk of the planned spending.
Budget deliberation will take as many as 10 further meetings.