VIDEO: Windsor Draft Budget Increase Over 3%

The first look at Windsor's 2019 budget shows an increase of 3.3% for ratepayers.

On a home assessed at $150,000 that comes to a hike of $90.

The breakdown is that municipal cost increases are 1.6%, but items council doesn't control like the agencies, boards and commission add another 1.7%.

The total municipal proposed levy is $347-million.

Laying out the budget priorities along with senior staff Mayor Drew Dilkens says there is room for trimming, but some areas are out of council's control.

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Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens explains the details of the 2019 draft budget, Windsor City Hall, March 6, 2019 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

"Certainly there's pathways in this document as there is every year for council to get to zero.  If council wants to get to zero, there's ways to do it.  Administration has presented ways to get there, some of them are more painful than others"

Dilkens says the police budget increase of $5.5-million is a 6.6% hike, but he fully supports it.

"When you're hiring 24 additional officers that puts pressure on the system for sure.  That right there is a $3-million pressure in the overall budget which is almost one-percent"

Dilkens says his ideal increase would be under 2%, which means council has to find between $4 and 6-million in savings..

Councillors get the document Friday, it's released to the public Monday and deliberations start April 1.

Dilkens says addressing the city's flooding issues is a priority and the allocation is up 42% to $31.6-million for 2019.

He is pleased the debt is on the way down, from $230-million in 2003, to $78-million last year.