Cambridge councillors voted Monday night to approve the city’s spending plan for 2020.
Roads, infrastructure, and pouring money into the city’s urban cores are highlights of this year’s budget.
However, it all comes at a cost; the price tag for this year is one of the Region’s highest local tax increases at 3.7 per cent.
The City of Kitchener approved an increase of 2.2 per cent and the City of Waterloo is looking to pass their budget next week, but so far it’s coming with an increase of 3.4 per cent.
This means the average homeowner in Cambridge will now see an increase of about $51 on their tax bill.
“For me the rate is high, higher than I had anticipated, higher than I would have liked to have seen it but its lower than we started with,” said councillor and budget committee chair Mike Mann.
Cambridge council started off with a just over 4.3 per cent increase earlier in the day, but by taking a few things off their wish list, they were able to lower it.
“We started with a percentage of 4.32 per cent and staff provided us with a decision package that would allow us to remove stuff from the budget so it would be more presentable,” said Mann.
Staying in the budget is the controversial plan, to upgrade two of the city’s swimming pools that are nearing the end of their life cycle. Council deciding the George Hancock Pool and Soper Pool will both get facelifts.
Also in the budget will be over $50 million put towards new roads, parks, and arenas.
Over $250,000 will go directly to revitalizing the Galt and Hespeler arenas. Another $20 million will be spent for the downtown core revitalization, and $200,000 will go towards multi-use trails.
"It’s important to getting it as low as we possibly can while maintaining those essential services, and there are service that we much have, and our responsibility is to provide them at the most cost effective rate we can,” said Mann.
More highlights of the budget can be found on the city’s website.