Sudbury's 2021 municipal budget approved with 4% hike for taxpayers
Ratepayers in Greater Sudbury will see their tax bills go up four per cent this year.
It took nine meetings of the Finance and Administration committee, including a five-hour session Tuesday night to finally approve the 2021 municipal budget.
"What has been at many times very spirited debate, but also full of great ideas and some absolutely transformational projects that we have approved as part of budget 2021," says city councillor Mike Jakubo, the chair of the Finance and Administration committee.
"The 2021 municipal budget is a true picture of resiliency in the face of adversity," said Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger.
"I'm proud of what we've established as our business plan for the upcoming year, even while facing ongoing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic."
Bigger added that the 2021 budget reflects continued investment in the community, while keeping commitments to quality municipal services for residents.
"We are providing significant amounts of support again for public health in ensuring people get vaccinated, significant dollars and resources being provided to support the community there," he said.
$10 extra on monthly tax bill
For an average home assessed at $230,000, a four per cent tax increase works out to be about $10 more a month on a property tax bill compared to 2020.
The 2021 budget includes a $641-million operating budget for service levels across the city, as well as strategies to deal with the impact of the pandemic.
The $144-million capital budget includes projects such as road improvements, the redevelopment of Pioneer Manor, and transitional housing.
The finance committee also approved a 4.8 per cent increase to water/wastewater user rates, which the city says is in line with the long-term financial plan for the service.
2021 municipal budget highlights include:
- $59 million to upgrade and modernize long-term care facilities at Pioneer Manor cost shared with the province and financed over 30 years.
- $5.2 million for construction of a Therapeutic Leisure Pool at the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre.
- $1.1 million to fund transitional housing to place and support individuals with mental health and addictions.
- $400,000 for the purchase of an all-in-one Automated Pothole Patching Machine to improve roads infrastructure maintenance, part of our ongoing commitment to demonstrate asset management and service excellence.
- $500,000 investment for creation of a municipal easement database that will assist various departments including Legal, Building Services, Engineering to record, maintain and support municipal infrastructure.
- $480,000 to hire additional Personal Support Workers and increase part-time hours in the Nursing - Direct Care department and $172,000 to fund Registered Practical Nurse positions to support infection prevention and control, further support in health care and safety for residents at Pioneer Manor.
- Funding for Community Improvement Plans, providing financial incentive programs designed to revitalize and redevelop Downtown Sudbury, Town Centres and Brownfield properties in the community.
- $2.1 million for COMPASS, a project that will develop technology which introduces time and activity reporting processes that will further increase operational efficiency and improve service delivery.
- $1.8 million of additional funding for Whitson Trail.