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Brandon City Council Deliberates 2015 Budget


January 11, 2015

Brandon, MB – Today, Brandon City Council has given its unanimous approval to a tentative 2015 budget with a resulting municipal tax increase of 0.53%. The Council-approved, $78 million operating budget means the average residential property assessed at $222,000 will see an increase in municipal taxes of $9.24 over 2014 levels.

Following Council’s all-day deliberations, Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest expressed his satisfaction with Council’s handling of the “first big task” of its four-year mandate.

“This Council can be very proud of its first annual budget deliberations,” Mayor Chrest said. ”My view is that Council came through with flying colours. We were very well-prepared and asked appropriate and respectful questions of administration. We learned a lot about the process, which will make us better stewards of this City.”

Dozens of additions and deletions were debated over the course of the day; however, at the close of Council deliberations, the following changes to the Financial Plan were approved:

  • A reduction of $2,270 to 2015 City Council indemnities to reflect the Consumer Price Index;
  • A reduction of $30,000 in expenses relating to Hydro and natural gas purchasing;
  • A reduction of $126,850 in expenses relating to diesel and gasoline costs;
  • The realignment of a heritage administration position, a savings of $34,944;
  • The addition of $85,000 in funding for the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba’s Display Building #2 restoration project;
  • A reduction of $100,000 from the overall Brandon Police Service’s budget;
  • The restoration of $18,000 that had been removed from the annual funding provided to community centres;
  • The elimination of a $10,000 Economic Development sign reserve appropriation, and a combination of further reserve appropriation reductions totalling $399,474;
  • A reduction of $95,000 to the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex’s Youth Centre and Cultural Resource Centre equipment budget;
  • A reduction of $75,000 in the budgeted greenspace project for the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex’s East Entrance;
  • A reduction of $4,500 from the Human Resources consulting budget;
  • An additional $10,000 in grant funding for the Daly House Museum;
  • An increase in the budget for forecasted supplementary tax revenues of $100,000

 

“I’m very satisfied with the outcome of these budget deliberations,” added Brandon City Manager Scott Hildebrand. “Administration has worked extremely hard since June of 2014 to pull this budget together and then address any concerns that the new Council brought forward. We pulled together as a team to ensure this budget was successful and was responsible to our citizens.”

A public hearing to garner feedback on the tentative 2015 budget will be held Monday, March 16th, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber at Brandon City Hall.


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