Belleville has wrapped up its 2018 capital budget with a a tax increase under 2%.
After nearly two full days of debate Belleville city council has approved a $26.4 million capital budget, resulting in a 1.9% tax hike.
Council was able to achieve this partly with the help of $1.6 million from the $2 million in the casino fund.
On the final day of debate, council cut money proposed for washrooms at Memorial Arena, supported studies for Freestone Park and the Wallbridge-Hamilton Road intersection.
Three major issues during the final day of the debate centred on the downtown, the city’s waterfront, and a west end intersection.
The proposal was to spend $250,000 on public washrooms at Memorial Arena.
Director of recreation Mark Fluhrer told council the washrooms are “desperately needed around city hall” and even more so as the city creates the future civic space..
He said the portable units are not accessible.
Councillor Jack Miller pointed out council had declared Memorial as surplus and “can’t see spending a quarter of a million dollars on it.”
Mayor Taso Christopher said in 12 years there hasn’t been an offer on the building and washrooms are needed as the area is developed as an entertainment venue.
It was deleted on a vote of 6-3.
Meanwhile council did decide to spend $150,000 for a servicing study to develop Freestone Point, east of Jane Forrester Park.
The proposal to spend $250,000 on an engineering study for the Wallbridge-Hamilton Road intersection as a joint project with Quinte West raised some concerns. Councillor Miller called it a 100% Quinte West issue, but Councillor Egerton Boyce and others pointed out the dangerous traffic issues at the site. Quinte West has put aside $500,000 for the project.
Council approved $50,000 for a design of a new park in the city’s east end at the Stanley Park subdivision area, but rejected a bid by Councillor Mitch Panciuk to spend $350,000 to go ahead with the park itself.
Mayor Christopher told Quine News he is pleased with the final numbers and says it’s the level of service that matters to him.