The 2019 city budget is complete after two days of debate and delegation.
The city’s mill rate will increase 4.33%, down from the 4.7% percent administration originally proposed. Part of the plans for 2019 included the rebuild of Maple Leaf pool after many people came to council on the first night in an effort to save the pool in the core neighborhood.
Mayor Michael Fougere said this does not necessarily mean the end of a destination water park in Wascana Park.
“I think we’re talking about moving forward with both projects,” Fougere said. “The motion that was passed did not talk about Wascana park pool, it talked about Maple Leaf pool. We passed through the budget an allocation to fix up and enhance Wascana park, the administration is going to come back with a report on how we can finance Maple Leaf pool.”
An additional mill rate increase is not off the table with the decision to keep Maple Leaf pool. Councillor Bob Hawkins introduced an amendment that would see the mill rate increase .45% every year for the next three years in order to pay for the pool. That decision was referred.
- Debate over potential Maple Leaf pool closure delays council’s decision on 2019 budget
- Regina City Council approves Regina Police $92 Million budget for 2019
Fougere said he believes services offered by the city are improving with the 4.33% mill rate increase.
“I think in police service, I think the money we’re putting in roads, the 1% in roads is additional work, we’ve got a report coming to council next week that talks a different way to extend how much we do with that 1%,” Fougere said. “Looking at recreation, we’re actually going to be enhancing recreation, we just decided (Tuesday) night.”
One of the projects cut from this budget was the installation of parking meters at Regina General Hospital. Fougere said he agrees nurses at the hospital should be better taken care of when it comes to parking at their job.
“When I hear people saying, or nurses saying they’re worried about doing their work and having to come out every two hours to plug their meter or move their car, I’m going ‘why can’t the employer take care of their employee?” Fougere said. “We do it here for the City of Regina, most employers take care of their employees; it’s an obvious thing.”
Water utilities are also on the rise. City Council approves a 3% increase for 2019, as well as the next two years.