The 2015 draft budget provides the foundation from which City Council can continue to invest in and build a city that is affordable, caring, sustainable and prosperous for all residents. It maintains investments in the ongoing major projects that are currently reshaping and improving our city, while setting the course towards meeting the future needs of residents and businesses.
While this budget builds on the City’s momentum of progressing toward a more liveable city, it also includes funding to address the current needs of residents by improving mobility, supporting a new crime prevention strategy and increasing affordable housing to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents.
The budget provides stability for City Council as it establishes its 2015-2018 Term of Council Priorities this spring. The priorities are the framework in which the City will continue to develop sound and fiscally responsible plans for 2016 and beyond.
2015 draft budget will deliver:
An Affordable City
- Hold the line on current spending, while keeping tax revenue increases to 1.75 per cent - the lowest increase in eight years, which translates to a 2 per cent increase for a residential property.
- Limit the Rate-Supported Water and Sewer Charge increase to 6 per cent, as approved in the latest Long Range Financial Plan.
- Freeze garbage fees for the third consecutive year.
- Limit the average OC Transpo fare increase to 2.5 per cent, while also providing a $4.2-million investment in new and improved service - including increasing bus routes and approximately 5,700 more Para Transpo trips.
- Reduce 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) City positions, excluding Ottawa Police Services. This will be the fourth consecutive budget that reduces the number of FTEs for a total of 228 since 2012.
A Caring City
- Fund a strategy for crime prevention and gang activity.
- Increase funding for maintenance of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation assets.
- Enhance and increase funding for the Adult School Crossing Guard Program.
- Deliver funding for commemoration of the victims of the tragic September 2013 bus-train collision.
- Involve the City in the renewal of the Ottawa Pride Festival.
A Sustainable City
- Support the 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan, which will see the expansion and improvement of cycling networks and multi-use pathways across the city to make cycling a safe and convenient option for residents.
- Move the Ottawa River Action Plan forward with the construction of the central storage tunnel, putting in place the last elements of funding from federal partners to match investments from the City and Province.
- Increase funding for tree planting by $125,000 to $1.3 million.
A Prosperous City
- Modernize Ottawa’s transit system through Light Rail Transit (Stage 1 and Stage 2).
- Continue the construction of the Confederation Line, the light-rail transit line from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture, which is the backbone of the City’s planned light rail network.
- Prepare for the transition from construction of the Confederation Line to full operation in 2018.
- Launch the Western Transitway expansion as the City continues to seek funding for Stage 2 of the Light Rail Transit system that will extend to neighbourhoods in the east, west, and south.