If last year your household decided to sell the family car and get around to using bikes and transit, you will save on maintenance, insurance and any financing costs, and can reinvest that money elsewhere after buying transit passes and putting aside money for bike maintenance and future bike replacement. If last year your household decided to install a hot tub, this year you need to include operating and maintenance costs in your household budget that you didn’t have before and save for eventual replacement of the hot tub.

It is the same with cities. Decisions made in previous years influence our decisions each budget cycle. New infrastructure comes with future operating and replacement costs. Adding new services without finding savings elsewhere increases the overall budget. Council makes has to make tough decisions each year in pursuit of the right balance between saving, maintenance/repair, and spending. Some decisions from previous years are influencing the 2025 – 2028 budget decisions.

  • Fire response: Increased funding was allocated in early 2024 towards additional firefighter hours to staff Firehall 3. and to purchase essential firefighting equipment
  • Transit hours expansion: To help move us towards our Big Moves climate targets and reduce congestion, increased funding has been allocated towards transit service hours. In addition, the grant to support transit system recovery during the pandemic will be used up by 2026 (confirm). We are also investing in fleet enhancements, including the replacement of municipal ICEs with EV vehicles where possible.
  • Increased RCMP: Under Provincial rules, when we reach a population of 15,000 (likely to be determined in the next census), our community will need to fund 90 percent of our policing costs versus the 70% we fund now. We cannot avoid these cost increases and we need to prepare now to fund appropriately.

Together, these costs suggest a 7.5% annual increase in tax rates that will be required each year from 2025 through 2028.

This figure considers only the things described above, and all other services remain at 2024 levels. Meaning, that any new things (services or built assets) that we add will mean that number gets bigger.