Hizzoner is a column written by the mayors of Niagara. This edition comes from St. Catharines’ Brian McMullan.
BRIAN McMULLAN/Special to Bullet News
Council is seeking public input as part of the City of St. Catharines’ 2013 budget process.
At the last public session members of the public offered some interesting comments which will help us to determine if the City is headed in the right direction – controlling expenses and enhancing services where required.
While the preliminary budget has come in with an expected tax increase of 4.8 per cent, I am confident staff and Council can bring the budget more in line with the rate of inflation.
There are a number of service enhancements which will have an impact on the 2013 budget such as $345,000 for the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre and $195,000 to add to our urban forest.
We will also be launching a new customer service initiative at approximately $250,000 which involves new software, staff training and a new service desk.
Moving forward. council knew these projects would have an impact on our budget but these initiatives are vital components of our overall master plan. These are important investments in our community and in our future.
We appreciate any feedback the public can offer as it assists Council with making important decisions on behalf of all the taxpayers in the community. Our goal is to have our 2013 budget passed by late February.
The budget will come to Council for approval. People can provide comments throughout this process by visiting our City website at www.stcatharines.ca where you will find a link to our 2013 budget survey.
As always, your input is welcome and providing your comments is a just a click away.