Brandon council hammers out new budget –

Brandon council hammers out new budget –

The Brandon City Council member spent January 27th and 28th working on the 2023 budget.

After two days of budget deliberations, Brandon City Council approved an operating budget of $125.4 million, including utilities, and a capital budget of $138.7 million.

The new budget equates to a 1.6% council tax increase for 2023 for an average single-family home.

The Council discussed several amendments in all areas of local government spending.

Here are some budget highlights:

Key projects from the proposed capital budget include:

· $41.7 million for water treatment plant expansion

· $25.6 million for land drainage improvements, including the Southeast Drainage Project

$19.7 million for new sewers, including the Southwest Lift Station project*

· $13.7 million for the multi-year construction of the Outdoor Sports Field Complex

· $1.7 million Eastview landfill cell design and construction

$900,000 for the detailed design of the conceptual cultural center in the library/arts building**

· $200,000 for the detailed conceptual design of the Sportsplex Arena

$400,000 for the River Corridor Loop Paving Project

$75,000 for the transit route planning study, which will include expedited transit options

Added at City Council budget deliberations:

· $72,000 for a temporary home and wellness position

· $200,000 for downtown initiatives

· $300,000 to improve emergency services

· $178,000 for the Brandon Police Service budget to start a community safety officer program

· $40,000 for the addition of a By-Law Enforcement Officer position

· $31,000 to waive special criminal record fees

· $36,000 for the Age Friendly Committee and the Poverty Committee

$10,000 for a community garden in Ward 1

· $8,000 for Aboriginal training for staff and council

· $80,000 for the Brandon General Museum and Archives

· $50,000 for public relations and engagement

· $20,000 each for Ashley Neufeld and Andrews Field Softball Complex

$125,000 for a new outdoor ice rink in Ward 1

· $171,000 to the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum to repair restructuring projects

· $207,000 for roads and sidewalks in addition to what was already budgeted by the administration, including $33,000 for Ashley Neufeld sidewalks

· $50,000 for crosswalk improvements in addition to what was already budgeted by administration

“This budget has been extremely challenging with many needs in our community, higher inflation costs and several high ticket costs. I am very proud of the work of our entire council and administration team,” notes Mayor Jeff Fawcett. “I am satisfied with our Council’s collaborative and progressive approach and the constructive results we have achieved in the face of difficult tasks.”

The budget approved by the Council will now enter the public consultation phase, a date to be set in the spring.

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