Barrie Council gives preliminary nod to 1.94% budget increase

Operating costs cut to help pay for more road repairs

City Hall has given the initial nod to a Barrie budget that comes with a 1.94% increase to your taxes.

That boils down to an about $126 annual increase to the average Barrie homeowner, based on a home valued at $336,000.

The budget also includes a one per cent reserve for infrastructure, the culmination of a ten-year focus on revitalizing many of Barrie’s roads, pipes, and other aging infrastructure around the city.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman says this shift in priorities began in 2013, with five million spent on repairing roads in the city; this year $55m will be spent. To pay for this, operating costs were limited, with Lehman saying they had to get smarter with how money is spent.

This year’s budget also comes with a 3.44% increase to water rates, and a 3.39% increase to the wastewater bill, for an additional $11 and $15 annually, respectively.

The budget still requires final rubber stamping from council, expected to come at next Monday’s meeting.