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Halifax Regional Municipality Tables the 2009/2010 Budget
(Tuesday, May 12, 2009)-- Tonight, Chief Administrative Officer, Dan English, tabled the proposed 2009/2010 Operating and Capital Budgets for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The proposal will provide incremental service increases in selected areas while holding the tax rate flat.
A $578 million net municipal Operating Budget (3.6% increase over 2008/2009) and a gross Capital Budget of $151 million.
“We are positioned well for the future as this budget includes some new projects, yet has the potential to allow us to fund reserves for use in the years ahead when we might feel the full impacts of the recession in this region,” said Dan English, CAO.
HRM’s healthy financial position has allowed the municipality to pursue leveraging opportunities with the other levels of government. Last month, Council approved an infrastructure list which included as its first priority a new four-pad arena. HRM plans to fund this project in part with economic stimulus money provided from the Federal and Provincial governments. Two more of the top priorities on the list, an additional Woodside ferry and a new central library, have been submitted for funding through the Federal-Provincial Build Canada Fund.
In addition to these projects, other Capital Budget highlights as they relate to Council Focus Areas include:
Transportation - Ragged Lake Transit Operations Centre, Transit terminal upgrades and expansion, Bus stop accessibility, and the 102 Interchange.
Community Planning - Prospect Recreation Centre, Canada Games Recreation Centre, four-pad arena, Detailed design for Central Library, and a 22% or $1.8 million increase in Parks and Playgrounds
Infrastructure - Maintaining the 5 year plan, and using the evaluation matrix and capital priorities recently approved by Council to shape future plans
Public Safety - $1 million increase for Fire apparatus, and 911/Non Emergency Recording System, hiring in police and fire
Governance & Communications - Corporate Document Records Management, Corporate Customer Database, and continued Council Chamber Upgrades.
Dan English said, “We are committed to the five year capital plan and as well, we have been able to maintain the focus on recapitalization.”
In keeping with Council’s desire for HRM to be environmentally sustainable, the proposed budget book is available on CD and on the website this year for the first time.
Regional Council will debate the proposed budget starting on May 26, 2009.
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Chief Administrative Officer
Chief Financial Officer