Water users help 2016 city budget exceed targets

The city is reporting a surplus of almost $5.5-million from last year's tax-supported budget programs, mainly due to higher income from water users across Ottawa.

In a report for next Tuesday's Finance committee, city staff say the transit budget ended up short by $1.8-million, mainly due to additional tax rebates and remissions over which it has no control.

The Ottawa Police Service fell almost $6.4-million into deficit last year, with a large part of that driven by overtime and retirement expenses.

On the plus side, the water and sewer budget had a surplus of $13.7-million, mainly due to lower operating costs and higher water usage during the dry summer last year.

Water and sewer rates have been exempted from the property tax increase ceilings imposed by council.

Rates have been rising at more than six per cent a year, as the city pays for new water and sewer infrastructure.

As well, the road services budget was almost $15-million in the hole last year.

That's largely due to high snow removal costs late last winter and the icy road conditions we've dealt with this winter.