Councillor Jack Miller says the fact that the budget is close speaks well for the entire process both internally and externally.
He credited staff and council for spearheading an “internal cleansing process” which saved about $1.3 million.
“There was a lot of excess,” he said, adding that some projects were deferred to a time when government grants may come available. “We found some fat and got rid of it.”
Belleville Police Chief Cory McKay and Deputy Chief Ron Gignac presented the service’s 2016 budget at $16 million, including $1 million for the capital reserve for a new police headquarters. That reserve now sits at $5 million.
McKay noted benefits jumped 24% , training increased 15% and the cost of additions to the fleet increased 8%.
The city’s tax-supported budget of $87.1 million reflects an increase for residential assessed at just over $200,000 of .26% for urban ratepayers, 09% for Canifton urban and a slight decrease for rural taxpayers.
Combined with the education budget, which the city collects but does not set, it means taxpayers will face a 2% to 3% percent tax hike on an average assessment as follows: an additional $94 for Urban residential, $85 for Cannifton urban, $66 for Cannifton rural, and $61 for rural.