Column: February 11, 2019

Tabling of the City of Ottawa’s 2019 Draft Budget

The City’s draft budget for 2019 was tabled at the City Council meeting on February 6. Some of the city-wide highlights include:

- Capping the residential property tax increase at three per cent. This will enable the City to spend an additional $9.8 million on roads and other municipal infrastructure, such as sidewalks, buildings and bridges. This will close the infrastructure gap within the next five years;

- $42.7 million for Ottawa’s rural communities, including $21.6 million to resurface and upgrade roads and $12 million for culverts to manage stormwater;

- Planning to reforest areas hit by the 2018 tornadoes, with $1.49 million being spent annually to plant 500,000 trees and regenerate Ottawa’s forest cover across rural, suburban and urban communities;

- Increasing funding to $50,000 for ward-led traffic calming projects across the city;

- $340 million on roads, bridges, buildings, watermains, sewers and transit infrastructure;

- $70.8 million for winter operations, an increase of $2.4 million;- Funding for 14 new paramedics, with associated equipment, to improve rural service delivery and improve response times across the city;

- Investing $15 million to build more affordable housing for residents; and

- $7.8 million for OC Transpo to buy additional buses. It also commits $3.4 million in 2019, and $5.1 million on an annual basis thereafter, to expand transit service. The budget proposes $55.2 million to replace 79 old buses and $22.4 million to refurbish buses

Ward 5 specific highlights of Budget 2019 include:

- $4 million to design and build 47 culverts;

- $2 million to retrofit, rehabilitate and replace components of communal well drinking systems, including the Carp Well System;

- $1.8 million for road surface treatments;

- $1.6 million to renew the Fitzroy Harbour Bridge;

- $820,000 to resurface roads;

- $620,000 to renew the Ritchie Side Road Bridge;

- $605,000 to preserve roads;

- $180,000 to renew the Kilmaurs Road Bridge;

- $125,000 to upgrade gravel roads;

- $560,000 to replace and repair:

- Septic system at Fire Station 45 and Paramedic Post – March

- Windows at Fire Station 61 and Paramedic Post – Kinburn

- Windows at Fire Station 66

- Flooring at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre and Ottawa Public Library – Fitzroy Harbour

- Roof of the main building at Pinhey Estate

- Ridge roof of the West Carleton Fire Training Building

- $38,000 for fitness equipment for Langstaff Park

- $10,000 for safety netting for the baseball diamond at Fitzroy Harbour

This proposed spending plan will be considered by all standing committees, boards and commissions, and then by Council on March 6. Residents can engage in this process by:

- Registering as a public delegation at a budget review meeting of any committee, board or commission, and make a five-minute presentation, at meetings being held between February 14 and March 5. A list of upcoming meetings is available at ottawa.ca/budget;

- Contacting our City Councillor to express your views;

- Emailing budget@ottawa.ca;

- Tweeting @ottawacity using the hashtag #ottbudget; and

- Calling 3-1-1 / 613-580-2400 (TTY: 613-580-2401)