Brandon, MB – After two days of budget deliberations, Brandon City Council has approved an $83.6 million-dollar operating budget, a reduction of $1,931,000 from the proposed budget, representing a municipal tax decrease of 1% for 2021. This works out to a savings of $19 dollars for an average residential property assessed at $270,000 from that of 2020’s municipal property tax levels.
Council debated several amendments with all areas of municipal spending being carefully considered for either augmented financial support or spending reductions.
While the hallmark of this budget may be a 1% decrease in taxes, Council was also able to initiate numerous enhancements to the budget that will be of benefit to our residents. A few examples include:
· Doubled the back lane dust control budget
· An allocation to create a sump pump or back water valve assistance program
· Funds to help deal with residents whose homes have lead pipe services
· Additional funds in sidewalk reconstruction
· $200,000 toward back lane maintenance
· Several public education programs toward environmental initiatives, including rain barrels and rain gardens were added
· Additional funds for Transit to provide Sunday hours of operation on statutory holidays
· Additional funding toward Brandon’s community centres
· One of the most significant items of the day was the approval for administration to commence the first phase of a major new outdoor field complex located at 1st & Veterans way, which may incur a future funding debenture of up to $6 million.
“Of the seven budgets I’ve chaired as Mayor, I believe Council and Administration can be most proud of this one,” noted Mayor Chrest. “In a very trying year, Council felt it was most important this year to help residents and businesses across the board by minimizing tax increases. We dug in and found a path to not only deliver a 1% tax decrease; we also proudly enhanced many day-to-day services for the betterment of our community.”
“I’m very proud of how Administration and Council worked collaboratively to deliver an excellent budget result,” noted Acting City Manager Dean Hammond. “This budget will free up resources for Administration to work on some exciting new initiatives, while providing for some tax relief to all Brandon property owners.”
The Council approved budget will now proceed to public hearing stage, a date for which will be determined in the spring.
(City of Brandon PSA)