City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the December 1 Meeting?

The 2021 Guelph Budget will be finalized in this final (or second-to-last) council meeting on the subject. The road to this day has been shorter than past years, so will the road to making a final decision on the part of council be just as short? How much wiggle room are members of council going to look for in this very unusual budget year? What will the final impact look like? To be determined…

NOTE #1: This is the decision meeting for the 2021 City of Guelph Budget and there will be no delegates.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

NOTE #3: This meeting starts at the special time of 2 pm.

NOTE #4: If there’s no final decision on the budget at this meeting, a second meeting is scheduled for Thursday December 3 at 2 pm.

Budget Impacts per Ontario Regulations 284-09 and Budget Public Sector Accounting Standards Reconciliation – This recommendation needs to ratified by council every year. It is a report prepared for council that outlines the amortization of tangible capital assets, retirement benefit costs, and the post-closure costs for municipally-owned landfills.

2021 City of Guelph Budget – There will be some slight changes in the budget, and there already has been. The Ontario Budget for 2020/21 added 0.07 per cent to the budget because of a change to the education retained tax revenue. The Elliott Community is also identifying further pressure on them in terms of compensation, and their ask adds an additional 0.18 per cent to the proposed levy.

In addition to those changes, there have also been some firm numbers from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) about what the change in assessment revenue will actually be in 2021, and it’s more than the estimated increase of one per cent proposed in the original budget.

Every and all change will be accounted for in the amended agenda for this meeting, which will be released on the City’s website on Friday November 27.

To read the full breakdown of the budget, click here to read the preview of the November 17 budget presentation.

1. That the 2021 operating budget be approved at a gross expenditure budget of $463,387,040 with a property tax and payment-in-lieu of taxes levy requirement of $267,774,464 or 3.52 per cent over the 2020 levy inclusive of the following:

a. 2021 fees, rates and charges guide posted at including water and wastewater fees and services, stormwater fees, building permit fees, parking fees, business license fees, and general user fees, and inclusive of:

i. A stormwater base charge of $6.40 per month equivalent residential unit or 10.3 per cent increase over 2020
ii. A water and wastewater basic service charge equivalent to 2020 rates
iii. A water volume charge of $1.82 per cubic meter, or 2.80 per cent increase over 2020
iv. A wastewater volume charge of $1.94 per cubic meter or 1.0 per cent increase over 2020

b. City service budget requests totaling an increased net levy requirement of $1,359,400 or 0.53 per cent and six new positions
c. local boards and shared services budget requirement, net of proportionate share of assessment growth, totaling an increased net levy requirement of $3,077,043 or 1.20 per cent
d. total transfers to/from Reserve and Reserve Funds

2. That the Guelph General Hospital levy in the amount of $750,000 be maintained for the second of six years as approved on December 3, 2019, resulting in no net levy change.

3. That the 2022–2024 operating budget forecast be received for information.

4. That the 2021 Capital Budget in the gross expenditure amount of $263,170,406 and the required operating budget resulting from these projects totaling $9,455,897 be approved inclusive of the following:

a. funding transfers from capital reserve funds and other sources including partnerships and grants
b. planned use of $101.1 million of debt as a financing strategy

5. That the 2022-2030 Capital Forecast in the gross amount of $1,654,571,109, be received for information with the following implications:

a. Operating budget net increase totaling $27,221,403
b. An unfunded City Building Reserve Fund position of $42.4 million by 2030
c. A debt forecast that fully leverages the City’s available capacity in the nine-year period

6. That the Downtown Guelph Business Association budget with gross expenditures of $698,780 and a total levy of $660,000 be approved.

7. That all carbon credit revenues generated by the City be directed towards the 100RE Reserve Fund as a source of funding for the implementation of the 100RE strategy.

8. That further to the November 10, 2020 Transit Strategy and Operations Campus Workshop:

a. That staff be directed to develop an affordable long-term Transit Strategy of not more than one per cent annual net levy increase inclusive of operating and capital funding and addresses COVID ridership and revenue loss impacts
b. That staff be directed to renegotiate the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program c. Transit Stream project priorities with the primary focus of electrification of Transit fleet and related infrastructure.
c. That staff be directed to develop a comprehensive performance metric framework that considers the varying services and routes within Guelph Transit.

9. That staff be directed to develop options to address the City Building Reserve Fund projected deficit position and report back to Council in advance of the 2022-2031 Capital Budget and Forecast.

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