On March 8, 2011, City Council adopted Budget 2011 and a tax increase of 2.45%.
Budget 2011’s 2.45% increase for urban home owners and commercial properties represents an increase of $75 this year for City services. Rural area homeowners will see a 2.4% increase. Compared to the last few years, the average urban tax increase is considerably less this year. For example, the tax increase for urban home owners was $135 in 2008; $166 in 2009; and $125 in 2010.
The Ottawa Public Library Board and the Ottawa Police Services Board have also adopted budgets in line with 2.5%.
Highlights of Budget 2011 include:
- Freezing of recreation fees for activities for the first time since amalgamation;
- 22 front line paramedics with two new, fully equipped ambulances and two new technicians to keep the ambulances on the streets;
- 45 new firefighters to staff two new fire stations;
- $10 million investment in Housing and Poverty Reduction initiatives that is in addition to a $4 million capital investment for housing initiatives;
- $161 million towards projects and programs to improve and streamline the bus system;
- Provisions to expand the free transit period for seniors from Wednesdays only to include Mondays and Fridays after 12 noon (beginning in April);
- 74 new bus drivers to improve service and reduce overtime;
- $500,000 funding envelope for priority environmental initiatives;
- $2.8 million per year for new cycling initiatives across the city;
- $28 million to address the flooding and sewage back-up problems in the west end;
- $2 million allocated for economic development initiatives;
- Capital spending plan that focuses on transit investments, the renewal of roads and sewers and new parks and recreation facilities;
- Advances key initiatives including: the Ottawa River Action Plan, Light Rail and Lansdowne redevelopment;
- $4.8 million in 2011 towards the first phase of funding for a new $48 million recreation complex in Barrhaven South; and,
- Capital works over the next few years to improve Ottawa’s road network, including: $29.3 million expansion of Trim Road in Orleans; $17.3 million on the east-end extension from Navan Road to 10th Line Road; $9.5 million on St. Joseph Boulevard; and, our share of the Highway 417 interchange.
Approved Budget 2011 documents will be available on online in coming weeks.