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Halifax Regional Municipality Passes the 2009/2010 Budget
(Tuesday, May 26, 2009)-- Tonight, Halifax Regional Council passed the 2009/2010 Operating and Capital Budgets for the Halifax Regional Municipality. The budget will provide incremental service increases in selected areas while holding the tax rate flat.
The budget is comprised of $570 million net municipal Operating Budget (3.6% increase over 2008/2009) and a gross Capital Budget of $159 million.
“This budget balances our need to be fiscally responsible with the opportunity to capitalize on economic stimulus for much needed projects in this region,” said Mayor Kelly. “It allows us to grow in a way that addresses the public’s priorities.”
HRM has pursued leveraging opportunities with the other levels of government. Council has already 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.
Additionally, Council approved a reduction in the Fire Protection Area Rate this year, to recognize and eliminate a $4.7 million surplus that has accumulated over time.
Mayor Kelly said, “Planning for change, seizing opportunities and safeguarding our future was this year’s budget theme and we are living that theme with this year’s budget.”
For more information on the 09/10 budget and to read the budget books, visit www.halifax.ca/budget.
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Mayor Peter Kelly