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____ Monday November 30, 2015 ____

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Budget - Kitchener

City of Kitchener's Capital budget addresses community priorities

Kitchener – Today, at a special meeting of the finance and corporate services committee, Kitchener city staff will present the city’s 10-year capital budget and forecast as part of the 2016 budget process. The proposed budget achieves a balance between building the community for the future and reducing the city’s debt, as well as investments in high-priority areas.

In 2016, new funding has been identified for investment in three key areas:

1. addressing council priorities, including Grand River Park, a corporate climate change action plan, public wifi and investment in community gardens;

2. revitalizing community amenities, including Kiwanis Park pool, McLennan Park and the Iron Horse Trail, and

3. improving infrastructure used to deliver core services that provide a long-term benefit to the community; these include replacing the city’s recreational programming registration system, developing the new snow storage disposal facility and speeding up replacement of utility infrastructure, among others.

The projects included in the capital forecast can span a number of years, and could either create new assets for the city or renew existing assets. As part of the annual budget process, council reviews, deliberates, and approves the 10-year capital forecast. Final approval of the 2016 capital forecast will take place as part of final budget day, scheduled for Jan. 18, 2016.

The capital budget report and accompanying materials can be found at www.kitchener.ca/budget2016.

The next steps in the budget process include:

• Public input session on Jan. 12
• Final budget approval on Jan. 18

Council consideration of the budget is informed by citizen feedback gathered during the Your Kitchener, Your Say consultation for the City of Kitchener 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, which identified community priorities for the next three years. However, it is also important that the public continues to participate in this process. There are a number of ways to provide input and to ask questions, including:

• Budget webpage http://kitchener.ca/budget2016;
• A convenient online budget calculator allows residents to see what the impact of the proposed tax increase would be on their tax bill. Residents can also provide comments, which will be passed on to council to help them make their decision on Jan. 18, 2016, final budget day.
• Responses to Facebook and Twitter postings; follow the discussion on Twitter at #kitbudget2016;
• A dedicated phone line – 519-741-2200 x7700 – that citizens can call to leave their input.
• A public meeting planned for Jan. 12, 2016 in the council chambers
• By regular mail at: 2016 Budget, c/o Corporate Communications, Kitchener City Hall, PO Box 1118, 200 King St. W. 2nd Floor, Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

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