By James Kelly
March 28, 2014
City taxes are not going up but the city will still spend more to keep Charlottetown’s streets in good condition.
Coun. Cecil Villard, chairman of the city’s finance committee, presented the 2014 yearly budget on March 28 during a noontime council meeting at Charlottetown city hall.
The budget was approved by a vote of 9-0. Coun. Mitchell Tweel was absent.
Villard said the increase in expenditures would not require a tax increase.
“I am pleased to advise that we have addressed our needs, scrutinized our expenditures and maximized our revenues so that we will not require a tax increase.”
There is $45,917,624 included in this year’s budget, an increase of 3.3 per cent from last year’s total budget.
The budget includes plans to increase the money spent on street construction and resurfacing by about 35 per cent, raising the amount spent from $2 million to about $2.7 million.
Two police officers will be stationed at two different schools, one at Colonel Gray and the other at Charlottetown Rural high school.
“This will continue to have a positive impact in the area of youth additions, mental health and cyber bullying,” Villard said.
The fire hall will also be given an extra inspector to ensure the safety of all firefighters.
The city of Charlottetown will spend an extra $60,000 to replace all high pressure sodium street lights with new LED lighting systems.
“LED lighting is less expensive to operate, used less power and is more environmentally friendly,” Villard said.
New to Charlottetown this year will be the Tulip Festival. The city will put $50,000 into Tulip bulbs to plant.
“This festival is expected to ‘blossom’ each and every year.”
Villard said on April 1, new technology will be available to police officers of Charlottetown, allowing them to have access to record systems on-hand.
There will also be computerized systems implemented in police vehicles for more convenience.
Villard finished his speech with a prediction for the future.
“This year will be particularly active and I am sure people will be talking about it 150 years from now,” Villard said.
Mayor Clifford Lee said he is thankful for all of the hard work put into the budget this year and was surprised by the outcome.
“I want to thank Councillor Villard and everyone who had their input on this year’s budget. There was an extreme amount of detail put into it. I don’t think any of us here have ever come across a budget where all of us agree with ever dime and nickel.”