The City of Summerside won't be reducing property taxes this year as it had hoped, but will instead hold the line.

Council passed its annual budget Monday night and staff called it a challenging one.

"Everybody would love to be able to reduce residential tax rates but you need to have that revenue source," said Deputy Mayor Bruce MacDougall.

"We're in the process now of working with the [finance] minister to get back to the table with the P.E.I. Federation of Municipalities to come up with a new long-term, revenue-sharing program with the province. We were reduced five per cent last year, so we're still reduced five per cent."

Families will have to pay about $12 more a year for water and sewer.

Capital projects will see an infusion of $2 million for new police and fire equipment, storm sewer upgrades, sidewalk replacement and improvement, a new salt truck and sidewalk plow, and a new water system upgrade for Credit Union Place.

The city will also pay $2 million toward its long-term debt, bringing what's owed down to $33 million.

Free skaing for tots

Meanwhile the city was able to budget free skating at Credit Union Place for all pre-school aged children.

Coun. Tina Mundy said the changes came after a lobby from one very vocal resident.

"There's a fellow named Reg, and we received many a letter from him, many a phone call, said Mundy.

She said the fees were implemented when Credit Union Place opened in 2006.

"Many families can't afford to bring the charges, so it was something that was front and foremost on council's mind."

The city said there wasn't enough money in this year's budget to subsidize skating for adults and seniors, but it's looking at possibly doing that next year.