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City Council Highlights - December 6, 2016

By City Staff

At its budget meeting held on December 6, 2016, Sarnia City Council approved a $135.4 million budget for 2017.

Approved 2017 Operating Budget with the total property taxation amount of $72.6 million, an increase of 2.32% compared to 2016. 

Approved 2017 Water and Sewer (Sanitary and Storm) Budgets are $15,444,652, and $16,908,805 respectively.  The water distribution charge and consumption charges are increased by 2.8% and the sewer surcharge rate remains unchanged.   

Approved 2017 Capital Budget in the amount of $37,315,340 (including potential grants/donations of $8,015,927), if grants are not approved capital projects will be scaled back.  33 capital projects were approved, including:

1.LED Streetlighting Conversion Phase 3 - $1,000,000;

2.Core Information Technology Infrastructure - $85,282;

3.Heavy Haul Corridor planning work - $600,000;

4.Fire Rescue Truck - $650,000;

5.New Colborne Road Fire Hall planning work in 2017 - $19,000;

6.Two Care-A-Van high floor cutaway buses -  $230,000;

7.Transit Facility Above Ground Gas Storage Tank - $100,000;

8.Bus Storage Facility Upgrades - $134,320;

9.Onboard Bus Cameras - $177,000;

10.Accessible Transit Scheduling Software - $103,896;

11.Two low floor Bus replacements - $996,000;

12.Eight low floor cutaway Bus replacements - $1,332,000;

13.Bus Stop Accessibility Improvements - $400,000;

14.Sarnia Arena Improvements - $1,484,000;

15.Sports & Recreation Capital work - $230,000;

16.Park Infrastructure - $150,000;

17.Errol Russell Park Revitalization - $700,000;

18.Road Resurfacing/Reconstruction - $1,200,000;

19.Rehabilitation of Various Bridges & Culverts -  $1,000,000;

20.Shoreline Protection - $500,000;

21.Rural Roads Rehabilitation -  $525,000;

22.Donahue Bridge work - $1,450,000;

23.Transportation Masterplan, Sidewalks & Bike Lanes - $250,000;

24.Streetscape Improvements at various locations - $300,000.

25.Energy Savings Initiatives of $440,523, partially funded through the Bluewater Power Legacy grant of $87,000;

26.Sarnia Sewer Upgrade, 2017 portion - $12,000,000;

27.Talfourd, Devine and Side Street Sewer Separation - $6,258,319;

28.Watermain, Sanitary & Storm Sewer Replacement - $3,600,000;

29.Improvements at the Water Pollution Control Centre - $500,000;

30.Pumping Station improvements - $400,000;

31.Water/Sewer Infrastructure Assessment - $200,000;

32.Water Meter Replacement Project - $150,000 and;

33.Police Communication feasibility/preparatory work - $150,000.

Fees for Services are charged to users that benefit from the service, and highlights include;

  • Addition of convenience/user fee for online payments as available.
  • Acceptance of credit card payments (excluding property taxes and accounts receivable) for transactions up to $5,000.
  • Addition of 23 fees that have not previously been charged, such as a Builders Bond deposit, same day service for compliance certificates, Planning supporting report deposits, tennis court booking, per day overnight parking pass, extraordinary emergency fire suppression cost recovery, and a fee for adding a new tax roll number.
  • For the first time, reduced not-for-profit fees have been included for Centennial & Canatara Park and facility use. 
  • A number of other Parks & Rec fees have been altered to switch costs to hourly fees as required by the new on-line booking software.
  • An increase in the cash, ticket and pass fares for transit use.
  • Approval of Free Bus Passes for Veterans.

Other budget highlights include:

  • Approval of a $200,000 reallocation to a new Reserve Fund for the future demolition of the former Sarnia General Hospital.
  • Approval of a $10,000 increase to the Canada Day Committee grant for 2017 Celebrations in honour of the 150th Anniversary of Canada.

Noted that a Regular Council Meeting will be held on December 12, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

This article was posted Thursday, December 8, 2016 12:45 PM

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