FEDCO recommends council approve 2016 budget timetable

The city’s finance and economic development committee Tuesday recommended city council approve the timetable for developing and approving the 2016 budget.

The city’s finance department is working with a two per cent property tax increase, 2.85 per cent increase for transit and six per cent hike in water rates.

Mayor Jim Watson urged councillors to maintain their commitment to a “low, affordable tax target.”

Coun. Diane Deans took exception to Mr. Watson’s claim all FEDCO members promised a two per cent tax increase.

“My goal is to keep this budget real, so we’re not putting in numbers that are unattainable,” she said.

With the high cost of winter maintenance, workplace safety and insurance board premiums as well as arbitration settlements, the city is going to have to find other ways to continue offering the same level of services.

That will mean increased user fees, although specifics won’t be revealed until the draft budget is tabled Nov. 12.

FEDCO also approved allowing corporate logos on Ottawa 2017 banners advertising the city’s year-long celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday.