City getting provincial cash to cope with legalized pot
$185,590 provided for increased policing, paramedic services costs
The City of Peterborough can expect money soon from the provincial government to help offset costs that may arise from the legalization of cannabis, states a new city staff report.
Peterborough can expect $185,590 this year from Queen’s Park to help cover costs such as increased policing and paramedic services, states the report.
On Monday, councillors will discuss the matter during budget talks.
The provincial money is coming from a $40 million fund the government is handing out over the next two years.
The city staff report states that the city can expect its money in two equal payments, in 2019 — one cheque in January and another in March.
The second payment is coming because council voted on Dec. 3 not to “opt out” of allowing private pot shops to set up in the city, states the report.
More funds could come later over the next two years, the report further states, “if excise taxes exceed certain levels.”
City staff recommends putting the money into a reserve fund.
It’s one of many topics that councillors will discuss as part of budget talks next week.
Over four consecutive evenings, councillors are expected to debate all aspects of a draft budget document for 2019 that would impose a 2.5 per cent tax hike.
In addition to $70.4 million for construction, the draft budget recommends spending a $282.1 million to carry out city services.
For an average taxpayer with a house assessed at $251,700, a 2.5 per cent tax increase would add about $98.52 to the bill.
For that homeowner, the total tax bill would be about $4,038.
That’s an all-inclusive increase, meaning it includes the municipal taxes plus the education tax, stormwater and sewer surcharge.
On Monday, councillors will review the budgets for council, community and legislative services and planning.
On Tuesday there will be agency presentations (from municipally funded outside agencies, such as Peterborough Police).
On Wednesday council will debate the budget for utility services and on Thursday it’s community services.