City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the October 30 Meeting?

The 2020 Budget process continues with the Non-tax Supported Operating Budget, which means all things water, wastewater, stormwater, parking, court costs and building fees.

Note: If you want to register as a delegate for any of these items on the Committee agenda, then you have to get in touch with the City Clerk’s office by 10 am on Friday October 25.

CLOSED MEETING: CS-2019-89 Non-union Employee Compensation Increase under Section 239 (2) (d) of the Municipal Act related to labour relations or employee negotiations.

CS-2019-80 2020 Non-tax Supported Operating Budget -An all-important part of the budget, but still one of the smallest portions of it. These services are largely self-funded, and represent a combined $88,429,368 portion of the 2020 budget. Here’s how it breaks down by service:

Stormwater Services – The department is working towards a sustainable funding target of $11.1 million per year, a target that includes both operating and capital costs. The operating budget for this year will be a little less than $8 million, which means there will be an increase of $7.20 on the annual Wastewater bill per household for a total of $69.60 per year, or $5.80 per month.

Water and Wastewater Services – Water Services is looking for an increase of nearly $579,000 over 2019 to $32,445,849, and Wastewater is looking at an increase of just over $1.1 million to $33,949,117. So what does that mean? An increase in the user fees by 2.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent for Water and Wastewater respectively, which, for an average household of three people using 180 cubic metres of water annually, comes out to an increase of $16.78 or 1.95 per cent. On your monthly bill, that’s an extra $1.40, and those rate changes would go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Parking Services – The 2020 budget will maintain the current level of $1.4 million in funding from tax contributions, and it will start to look at implementing the recommendations of the Downtown Parking Master Plan, which will, hopefully, lead to the long-term goal of a self-sustaining model where parking is funded solely by parking rates. There will be increased parking revenue with the opening of the Market Parkade on Wilson, which is good because there are expenditure increases due to the opening of the parkade, as well as expenses for software maintenance. The rise in expenses will also be recouped through increases to off-street parking permit fees at the Arthur Street and Norfolk Street lots. Fees will increase 30.2 per cent and 42.6 per cent respectively, bringing the total fee to $100 per month. The total Parking Services budget for 2020 will be nearly $6.34 million.

Ontario Building Code Administration – Issuing authorizations to build and demolish in Guelph will require a 2.2 per cent increase in fees. The budget itself increased by just 1.3 per cent from $3,545,000 in 2019 to $3,591,200 in 2020, but the nearly one per cent difference has to do with the review of “Building Permit Revenue and Expenditures, Building Services OBC Stabilization Reserve Fund and Annual Setting of Building Permit Fees” that was approved earlier this year. The direction to increase was approved to align it more with best practices and the current City practices of how corporate reserves are managed.

Court Services – The budget for administration, facilities, support, and prosecution has increased 6.18 per cent for Court Services in 2020 over the 2019 budget. It terms of real money, that’s an increase of nearly $245,000 from one year to another. Since 2000, the City of Guelph provides funding for Court Services with the County of Wellington with Guelph contributing 44 per cent of funding, and Wellington providing the rest.

Council will vote on the Non-tax Supported Operating Budget at the Budget meeting on November 13; council will only vote to defer the recommendations at this meeting.

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