City Council holds line on 2023 operating budget, but there’s more to discuss

Budget requests from police and other city services yet to be considered

City Council has approved a zero increase in its operating budget for this year, but there’s still more to discuss.

There’s also been a one per cent increase in the Infrastructure Renewal Fund, which is used to fix roads, bridges, water lines and such. That’s added $43.61 to the average tax bill this year.

Council also approved a 3.7 per cent increase in water rates and a 5 per cent increase in wastewater rates. For a typical Barrie home consuming 180 cubic metres of water annually, the water bill will increase by $13.75 and the wastewater bill will increase by $26.54. 

“I’m proud to say that we’ve delivered a budget for City services that matches the priorities we heard when knocking on doors around Barrie,” says Mayor Alex Nuttall. “We are focusing only on the essentials; allowing the City to continue to support the services our community needs yet at the same time keeping the tax increase as low as possible.”

Highlights in the budget include:

  • Additional recreational opportunities with the re-opening of the Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre and Peggy Hill Team Community Centre during summer weekends
  • Funding for additional snowplows and drivers
  • Increased cleaning for the washrooms at the waterfront parks on weekends and holidays
  • More traffic-calming measures across the city to create safer roads
  • Resurfacing of approximately 12.4 kilometres of roads
  • Widening Essa Road from four lanes to six from Bryne Drive/Ardagh Road to Fairview Road

Council still has to consider budget requests from the police, the library, other city services, the County of Simcoe, and Boards of Education, which will likely add to the tax take. Those discussions take place on March 8.

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