City budget includes investment to Millenium Park
City of Ottawa budget pleases Councillor Stephen Blais
The City of Ottawa tabled the draft 2014 budget, last week, and Cumberland Ward Councillor Stephen Blais called it "a big win for the families of Orléans and Cumberland".
"With millions being invested in new parks and recreation facilities and a fourth year freeze on recreation rates – families are the big winner in the 2014 budget," said Blais.
In budget 2014, Millennium Park is scheduled to receive an investment with the creation of a splash pad as well as the construction of several additional soccer fields.
"Soccer is one of the fastest growing youth sports in Ottawa," said Blais. "By adding new soccer fields we will allow more of our children to participate in amateur sports and live a healthier lifestyle."
Carlos Conde, Director of Strategic Planning with the Cumberland United Soccer Club agrees, "There is a growing need for fields in our community and this investment demonstrates the City’s commitment to ensuring our children can stay fit."
Budget 2014: Property tax increase under 2%
With 1.91% increase, the rise in property taxes is the lowest in seven years, in Ottawa. Wednesday morning, Mayor Jim Watson was faithful to his promise in the fourth budget presented since 2010.
"The preliminary 2014 budget is based on the hard work of the past three years," said the chief magistrate.
The draft budget proposes that the City maintain the rate freeze for leisure activities, administrative budgets of the mayor and councillors, the mayor’s salary and the cost of collecting waste.
Again this year, the City will reduce its workforce, cutting 55 full time jobs. This is less than last year when 139 jobs were eliminated.
Budget discussions will begin on Nov. 5 to the Finance Committee and Economic Development to reach a vote in the Council on Nov. 27.
Shortly before this, the Ottawa Police had filed its draft operating and capital budgets for 2014 at a special meeting of the Police Services Board. A net increase in taxation for police of $4.5 million or 1.99% is expected.
"The budget meets the guidelines of the Commission on a lower tax rate increase of 2 %, while maintaining the high caliber police services," said councillor Eli El-Chantry, chairman of the Police Services Board of Ottawa.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) was given a preliminary budget of $55 million, Monday night. A figure that was built around the maximum increase of 2% set by the council.
"To comply with the limit of 2 per cent imposed by the City Council, staff had to make difficult but necessary decisions," said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick.
Public consultations for the budget began Monday at the Shenkman Arts Centre.
With files from Sébastien Pierroz