Got a beef with the budget? City hall wants to hear from you
CORNWALL, Ontario - In an effort to engage Cornwallites in the city budget, the City of Cornwall is inviting residents to share their thoughts on how they would like to see their property tax dollars invested in community services.
The city has launched an interactive online budget survey at www.Cornwall.ca which allows residents to build their own budget and show city officials how they would spend their tax dollars. Residents can also provide comments on various city services.
“Community engagement is a strategic priority for the city and there is a strong desire to get our residents more involved in the budget planning process,” said CAO Norm Levac. “We want to hear from our residents on their priorities and concerns regarding the budget. It is one of the most important exercises the city undertakes each year and the decisions made during the budget planning process have a direct impact on taxes and levels of service.”
The interactive budget survey allows residents to enter their own property assessment value to see how much they currently pay each year for a variety of services such as police, fire, EMS, roads and sidewalks, recreation programs, parks and landscaping, solid waste, Cornwall Transit, economic development and by-law enforcement.
Through the easy-to-use online tool, residents can then elect to increase, decrease or maintain spending levels in each service area and see what potential impact it would have on their annual property taxes. Once satisfied with their choices, residents can submit their feedback and share it with family and friends on a variety of social networks.
Computer workstations are available at the Cornwall Public Library for residents who may not have computer access at home. In addition, a paper version of the survey will be available in the coming days in a variety of city buildings, including City Hall, the Benson Centre, the Aquatic Centre, the civic complex, the Glen Stor Dun Lodge and the library.
The results will be collected over the next several weeks and they will be provided to city council in the lead-up to its deliberations on the 2014 city budget. Depending on the responses received, city administration may opt to undertake further consultation with the community on specific areas of service.
“The ultimate goal is to garner feedback from residents on their priorities for municipal services,” said Mayor Bob Kilger. “Through this initiative, we also hope to provide residents with a greater understanding of the wide variety of programs and services that are supported by their tax dollars.”
Residents who complete and submit the survey by Dec. 16 will be entered into a draw to win some great prizes, including a onemonth family swim membership at the aquatic centre, a City of Cornwall three-season jacket and a copy of the recently-released Cornwall Scrapbook. Those who submit the survey by Monday, November 25th, will be eligible for the early bird prize – 4 tickets to see Great Big Sea at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Nov. 29th.
To access the online survey, please visit www.Cornwall.ca and click on the Budget 2014 Cornwall logo on the right side of the home page.