Yesterday morning, City Council received and tabled the 2017-2018 draft budget for Ottawa. The 3.2 billion dollar draft budget included the budget from Ottawa Police Services, Ottawa Public Library and Ottawa Public Health. Below I have provided you with some of the highlights from yesterday’s draft budget.
In preparation of the City-wide budget, Staff presented a plan that centers on affordability, fiscal responsibility, and ensuring the City operates within its means. ‘Draft Budget 2017’ caps the residential property tax at 2% and focuses on strengthening core municipal services to residents while making a commitment to long-term affordability. A few key highlights of the City-wide budget include:
- The new EquiPass low-income transit pass, available as of early April 2017. EquiPass enables low-income residents to access public transportation in an affordable manner, supporting those residents who live below the low-income cut off and includes a 50% discount ($57/month) from the cost of the regular monthly adult pass.
- In addition, the Budget will follow Council’s decision to eliminate Express Pass Premiums for OC Transpo users effective January 1, 2017, benefitting Stittsville residents who rely on Express routes such as the 261, 262, and 263 to enter/exit the downtown core each day.
- Enhancements to road safety by expanding the red-light camera program and funding new street lighting, traffic control devices and crossing-guards.
- Maintaining the City’s $16-million investment in affordable housing and homelessness programs.
- Investments of $1.75 million towards new bus routes for growth areas across the City (i.e. Stittsville) as well as 17 additional buses that will be added to the fleet to expand peak hour service providing approximately 950,000 new customer trips each year.
- Continuous improvements to the City’s cycling infrastructure network with a focus on safety and convenience, featuring buffered bike lanes, enhanced cycling crossings and wider sidewalks for pedestrians.
- $3 million for strategic projects that transform the transit service and enable the delivery of a fully integrated transit system in 2018.
- $3.25 million to improve Transitway and O-Train stations and facilities to benefit customers and operations.
- $1.3 million for 125,000 trees on target to be planted across all wards to increase forest cover in urban, suburban and rural areas, and assist in managing the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on the City’s streets, facilities, parks and natural spaces.
Moreover, an additional draft budget specifically pertaining to Ward 6 – Stittsville was released. The document, which can be read in its entirety by clicking here, includes budgeted projects happening within our ward both old and new. Some of the items worth mentioning include recent projects:
- $9000 for Wyldewood Park Playground Replacement – Design
- $105,000 for Village Square Park – Band Shelter/Gazebo
- $150 for Bell Memorial/Rotary Peace Park Sign
- $577,000 for Fairwinds West Park Development – Construction
- $1.3 Million – 125,000 trees on target to be planted across all wards to increase forest cover in urban, suburban and rural areas, and assist in managing the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) on the City’s streets, facilities, parks and natural spaces; and
As well as investment projects for 2017/18 which include:
- $113,000 for Wyldewood Park Playground Replacement – Construction
- $577,000 for Fernbank Crossing Park 17 Development – Design & Construction
- $384,000 for Fernbank Woodlot Park Development – Design & Construction
- $577,000 for Minto Potter’s Key – Park 1 Development – Design & Construction
- $639,000 for Stittsville South Cavanagh Park Development – Design & Construction
- $163,000 for Chenier Lands Park Development – Design & Construction
- $394,000 for Stittsville South Regional Park Development – Design & Construction
- $1.56M for Blackstone Community Park Development – Design & Construction
- $1.58M for CRT Community Park Development – Design & Construction
- $384,000 for Minto Potter’s Key – Park 1 Development – Design & Construction
- $1.0M for Stittsville South Tartan Park Development – Design & Construction
- $500,000 for accessibility improvements at Transitway and O-Train stations for all customers, including seniors and customers with disabilities
- $1 million for ongoing rehabilitation at Transitway and O-Train stations, including condition assessment, rehabilitation, and implementation of safety and security improvements
- $1.5 million to replace vehicles used for security, supervision, maintenance, stores and other services that support the reliability of the transit system
Please note that the City-wide Draft Budget 2017 is not yet approved, thus providing residents with the opportunity to offer their comments and input before the completed version is released. You can review the entire draft budget on the City of Ottawa website by clicking here. Please share your thoughts, opinions, and input with me by emailing me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning me at 613-580-2476.