City Council has approved the 2011 budget adjustments. Addressing next year’s projected $47.4 million operating budget shortfall, Council adjusted the budget to bring the 2011 municipal residential property tax rate increase to 5.0%. This increase will add an estimated $4.90 per month for the typical household in Calgary.
Key highlights of the approved budget adjustment include:
- Maintaining 140,000 hours of increased service growth for Calgary Transit.
- An increase of $5.0 million in base funding and $5.0 million in one-time funding for improved snow and ice control.
- An additional $8.2 million for 65 new officers in the Calgary Police Service.
- $2.0 million for the new Calgary Public Library.
- $2.3 million to improve access to 9-1-1 services.
- $4.7 million for Fire (Saddle Ridge, Sage Hill and Emergency Operations Centre).
- A price reduction of the low-income transit pass to $40.00 per month.
- Preservation of the Access Calgary Extra (ACE) program.
- On-going funding for standby tow truck service on major transportation routes.
- The elimination of Park and Ride Parking fees at LRT lots beginning April 1, 2011.
- Total net capital budget relinquishments of $65 million.
Council’s approved adjustments to 2011 budgets and plans also include a number of select areas for reduction:
- A $3.3 million decrease for Parks realized through reduced seasonal maintenance work, fleet right-sizing, and efficiencies achieved through better asset reporting.
- A $465 thousand decrease for Calgary Transit parking lot maintenance.
- A $950 thousand reduction in Community & Neighbourhood Services budget resulting in reduced social research and community development capacity.
- A $750 thousand reduction in the previously-approved Civic Partners budget increase.
- A $200 thousand decrease to the Mayor’s Office and Aldermanic Office budgets.
- A $844 thousand decrease for Assessment which may result in decreased assessment quality.
- A reduction of Waste & Recycling Services budget of $450 thousand as a result of efficiencies and lower than projected residential waste collection.
- An elimination of $1.7 million capital funding for a downtown fitness facility.
Administration has also been directed to find an additional $8 million in efficiencies across the organization. Administration will report back to Council no later than February 14, 2011 with these options. Also, the Calgary Police Service was requested to provide additional reduction options of $2 million in early 2011.
Further reductions focus on internal services which may limit the organization's long-term capacity, but will have the least impact on services. Other reductions have been gained through administration’s efforts to increase efficiency and change service delivery across the organization.
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