Brandon, MB – After a full day of consideration, Brandon City Council has given its approval to a 2020 municipal operating budget representing a municipal tax increase of 0.469%. When applied to a residential property with an average assessment in 2020, this works out to an increase of $10 dollars from that of 2019’s municipal property tax levels. Council debated several dozen amendments over the course of its budget day, with all areas of municipal spending being carefully considered for either augmented financial support or spending reductions.
Ultimately, new or increased funding was approved for: downtown angle parking, sidewalk repair and maintenance, street paving and milling, community centre improvements, Mayor Rick Chrest’s “NEO” youth-focused drug awareness program, the City of Brandon’s Lead Water Services Replacement Strategy, sidewalk snow clearing, City Council public relations, flood protection maintenance, land drainage improvements, Handi-Transit services, and the issue of chronically-frozen water service lines.
Council also approved new or increased funding for the following community organizations: the Brandon Bear Clan, Samaritan House Ministries, Brandon Downtown Development Corporation, the Brandon General Museum and Archives Inc., the Daly House Museum, Brandon Riverbank Inc., the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, the Keystone Centre, Andrews Field, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, the Age Friendly Committee, and the Poverty Committee.
Budget reductions were approved in the areas of landfill operation, Brandon Police Services operations, labour relations, Council salaries, airport improvements, parks and recreation services, 8th Street pedestrian bridge detailed design, and engineering professional development. Council also made changes to the amount of money to be allocated this year to several of the municipality’s reserve funds.
Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest says he is extremely pleased with the overall outcome, adding that Council and City Administration should be proud of their collective efforts.
“Taxpayers want us to maintain this City and maintain the services that they rely on and yet, at the same time, they want us to keep tax increases as low as possible. They work hard for the money they have and Council, in my view, has always been extremely respectful of their money and we work hard to require as little of it as we can,” noted Mayor Chrest. “I think that the taxpayers have always appreciated that we’ve been able to find the balance between maintaining this City while at the same time keeping tax increases below the rate of inflation.”
The Council-approved budget will now proceed to public hearing stage, a date for which will be determined in the spring.
(City of Brandon Release)