Column: 2012 Budget tabled

November 1, 2011


Last week, we tabled the 2012 Budget at City Council.  This is a budget that I am very proud of as it will see a real impact in Rideau-Goulbourn.  This budget addresses our need for roads resurfacing and it keeps the tax increase at its lowest in five years.  We are also continuing the freeze on recreational fees and reducing the City’s workforce for the first time since 2004 at a savings of $3.4 million.

The “Ottawa on the Move” program is all about infrastructure across the City and it will see $340 million spent over the next three years to rebuild roads, sidewalks, and bridges across Ottawa.  Over a third of that funding will go to the rural area and roads that would have been done in 2015 and beyond will be done sooner.  Those roads include Fourth Line Road, from Dilworth to Reevecraig; Donnelly Drive, from Reevecraig to Merlyn Wilson; First Line Road, from Century to Roger Stevens; Rideau Valley Drive South, from Roger Stevens to south of the village of Kars; Long Island Road, from Bridge Street to Lena; and Church Street, from Lenida to McCordick.  Furthermore, we are finally completing the hard surfacing of McCordick Road from Roger Stevens to Century Road.  To complete these projects, we are borrowing $125 million, but since the interest rates are so low, the industry demand for this type of work is high and these types of projects only get more expensive the longer you wait, we are actually going to be saving $12.9 million by doing the work now.

Since 2007, taxes have gone up by %3.9, %4.9, %3.7, and %2.45 making this year’s %2.39 increase the lowest in years, which comes in well below both the local and national rates of inflation.  After adding over 2000 jobs since 2004, we are also reducing the City’s workforce by 47 jobs, creating a savings of $3.4 million.

While we are freezing recreational fees for the second straight year, we are also building new Recreational Centres in Kanata North and Barrhaven, providing relief in the west and south end with more ice time capacity and more sports fields.

With regards to transit, there is some good news for residents south of Century Road and east of McCordick.  Up until 2012, all of these residents have been in Rural Transit Area (RTA) A.  Later this month, Council will approve a shift for these residents into RTA-B due to the removal of the 245 through North Gower, Kars, and Carleton Golf & Yacht Club.  This means roughly a 60% reduction in the transit rate.  Furthermore, seeing as the service was removed in 2010 and residents paid the RTA-A rate for all of 2011, I have been successful in engineering a tax rebate for those same residents that will switch from RTA-A to RTA-B.  Those residents will get a rebate for the difference between the two rates effective on their 2012 tax bill.

These are just some of the highlights and we will be holding public consultations this week.  On Wednesday, November 2nd, I’ll be at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Kanata; Thursday, November 3rd at Rideauview Community Centre in Riverside South, both at 7pm and we’ll have another consultation downtown at City Hall from 4-6pm on Friday, November 4th.

Manotick Public School Needs Your Help
Manotick Public School is looking for new play structures.  All you need to do to help is to vote!  Please take some time and go to www.avivacommunityfund.org to register and vote.  By voting once a day before November 9th, you will be helping Manotick Public School receive funding from Aviva toward their new play structure.  Thank you.

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If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the 2012 Budget, please contact me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2491.  More information on the budget can be found at ottawa.ca/budget2012.