North Bay City Council approved the 2021 operating and capital budgets during its regular meeting on Feb. 9th.
The approved budgets maintain current service levels and make critical investments in infrastructure while supporting local service partners and recognizing the financial challenges created by COVID-19.
The total operating budget expenses of $141,929,290 includes a tax levy of $96,961,684, an increase of $3,166,243, or 3.38 per cent over last year. Factoring in real assessment growth of 0.39 per cent, or $363,917, the overall tax levy impact on existing property owners equates to 2.99 per cent. The annual tax bill for individual properties, however, is dependent assessed value and the tax rate, which will be set by Council at a future date.
Increased operational costs within city departments, including wages, insurance, hydro, etc., represents 0.28 per cent of the overall levy increase, while a 1.75 per cent portion is attributed to capital projects and investment in infrastructure. Another 1.34 per cent of the levy increase represents municipal contributions to the budgets of local service partners.
The 2021 budget includes the use of a little more than $2.5 million in reserves to help reduce the tax impact on residents and business, as well as $300,000 for a residential property tax relief fund.
General capital and water and wastewater capital budgets of s $31.2 million and $13.2 million respectively include the ongoing maintenance and improvement of roads, sidewalks and facilities, mulit-use courts and a pump-track, as well as support for the redevelopment of Cassellholme Home for the Aged. The budget also includes a proposed new community centre/twin-pad arena in West Ferris, although Council is awaiting further details regarding the City’s financial contribution toward the Cassellholme project before deciding if the project will move forward.
Approved during Council’s regular meeting on Nov. 24th, the net budget of approximately $23.7 million will provide for the ongoing treatment and delivery of water and wastewater, ensuring these critical systems remain safe, reliable and financially stable.
The 2021 budget is up by $888,891, or 3.89 per cent, compared to 2020 and will result in an increase of $1.45 to the average monthly bill for a household consuming 14 cubic metres of water. A household consuming 16 cubic metres of water will see an increase of $1.64 per month and those consuming 20 cubic metres of water will see their monthly bill rise by $2.03. The rate structure will remain at 50 per cent fixed and 50 per cent variable for 2021. A portion of the 2021 water and wastewater operating budget will be offset by $300,000 utilizing reserves. In addition, a one year suspension of the water filtration charge for all water system users will be implemented for 2021.
Municipal water and wastewater services are funded by end users as mandated by the province. There are approximately 16,600 water/wastewater customers in the community. The City is responsible for more than 574 kilometres of water (304) and wastewater (270 ) mains, the operations of the wastewater treatment facility on Memorial Drive and water treatment plant on Lakeside Drive, 17 sewage lift stations. Water distribution facilities consist of the following: Ellendale Reservoir, High Lift Pump Station & Re-chlorination Facility; CFB Reservoir; Cedar Heights Pumping Station & Standpipe; Judge Avenue Valve Chamber & Re-chlorination Station; Birch’s Road Standpipe and Re-chlorination Station; and Airport Road Standpipe, Booster Pumping Station and Rechlorination Facility. These assets are critical in the delivery of clean drinking water and the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of wastewater.