On Tuesday, Belleville city council begins three days of debate on its operating budget for 2017.
Council will have before it a staff report indicating a draft $107.5 million budget, representing a tax-supported amount of $90.4 million, an increase of 3.7% over last year.
There is a long list of issues which councillors will walk through line by line, over the three days.
One major one is the fact the police services budget is up $750,000.
The proposed budget includes a Senator’s Park and Ride program, involving two shuttle buses from two separate remote parking lots for the 40 home games of the Belleville Senators hockey team, alleviating parking issues at the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre. It is proposed to be free for the first year.
Council will see a transit proposal for continuation of bus Route 10, Loyalist-Quinte Mall-Millennium Drive.
There is the proposed addition of two new city staff.
The budget calls for funding of an Official Plan review in light of the growth north of Highway 401, and the future expansion of the North East Industrial Park, which will require an adjustment to the city’s urban boundary.
It includes an increase in capital from the operating budget of $1 million and the 2016 debt annualization of $750,000.
If councillors approved everything presented, including external agencies’ budgets, it would represent a tax hike of 3.45% for Belleville Urban, 2.91% for Cannifton Urban Fire, 2.99 % for Cannifton Rural Fire and 2.23 % for Rural taxpayers.
The budget debate begins Tuesday morning with presentations by Belleville Public Library CEO Trevor Pross, Chair of the Police Services Board Mayor Taso Christopher, and Quinte Economic Development Commission Executive Director Chris King.