City of Regina approved 2022 budget, with mill rate increase of 3.40

The City of Regina’s 2022 budget ‘Building a Safe, Sustainable Community‘ has been approved by city council.

For residents, that will mean an increase of 3.40 per cent in the mill rate.

As part of that increase is 1.13 per cent for civic operations, 0.45 per cent dedicated mill rate for Mosaic Stadium, 0.50 per cent dedicated mill rate for the Recreaction Infrastructure Program, 1.32 per cent for added investment in the Regina Police Service.

That increase will result in:

  • $6.9 million for the Recreation/Culture Capital Program and Recreation Infrastructure Program
  • $6.3 million to advance initiatives to support the City’s target of being renewable by 2050, including $5.5 million for the development of a household food and yard waste program
  • $1.4 million for initiatives that will enhance community safety and well-being for Regina residents
  • $1.2 million to create safer sidewalks by addressing a backlog in sidewalk maintenance
  • $1.0 million to make recreation and leisure activities more accessible for people with disabilities.

That mill rate will cost the average Regina homeowner ($315,000) an extra $6.15 per month, or $73.80 per year.

The General Operating Budget is the funding source for most services the City provides. That budget was set at $511,970,000 million, an increase of $21,551,000 million or a 4.2 per cent increase compared to the 2021 budget.

Also seeing an increase was the City utility rate by five per cent.

Making up the increase was a two per cent increase dedicated to accelerating the replacement of lead pipe connections throughout Regina, and a three per cent increase to fund operations, maintenance and the long-term Utility capital plan.

That increase will include:

  • Continued inspection and rehabilitation of Regina’s underground water, wastewater and stormwater pipes and advancing wastewater system improvements to meet the regulatory expectations of the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency related to sewage bypasses.
  • Continued work to renew underground infrastructure, including relining some large diameter wastewater pipes; and on the water system (Eastern Pressure Solution) to allow growth to continue as identified in the OCP. Initial work will also continue replacing water meters and the meter reading system.
  • Advance the timing of replacing the connections. The target date for completion of this program will be 2036 because of this increase, or 15 years earlier than previously planned.

This increase will cost the average resident an extra $7.25 per month, or $87.05 per year.

Combining both the mill rate and utility rate increase, residents will pay an extra $13.4 per month or $160.85 per year.

For the 2022 Operating Budget, here’s a look at where the money is being spent:

 

2021 Budget

2022 Budget

Change ($)

Change (%)

Salaries and Benefits

179,713,000

185,246,000

+5,533,000

3.1

Intramunicipal

34,108,000

33,698,000

-410,000

-1.2

Professional and External Services

34,822,000

39,978,000

+5,156,000

14.8

Electricy and Natural Gas

9,932,000

10,802,000

+870,000

8.8

Office and Administrative

9,630,000

10,040,000

+410,000

4.2

Materials, Goods, and Supplies

9,592,000

9,625,000

+33,000

0.3

Other External

7,668,000

8,491,000

+823,000

10.7

Training and Travel

1,331,000

1,908,000

+577,000

43.4

TOTAL EXPENSES

286,796,000

299,788,000

+12,992,000

4.5

Contributuon to Captial Fund

57,979,000

61,863,000

+3,884,000

6.7

Transfer to Reserve Fund

18,594,000

18,473,000

-121,000

-0.7

Debt Serving

13,629,000

13,629,000

0

0

Community Investments

13,858,000

14,765,000

+907,000

6.5

OTHER EXPENDITURES

104,060,000

108,730,000

+4,670,000

1.2

Police Investments

99,563,000

103,126,500

+3,889,000

4.2

TOTAL EXPENSES

490,419,000

511,970,000

+21,551,000

4.2

With an overall $21.5 million increase in expenses, here is how that money (pictured above) will be spent.

Salary & Benefits: This increase is primarily related to increases in the Collective Bargaining Agreements with the City’s five unions and out-of-scope positions, as well as the increase of approximately 25 full-time employees.

Intramunicipal: This category includes costs allocated to operating areas for internal trades, fleet costs, facilities costs, and administrative support.

Professional & External Services: This increase is primarily related to one-time funding for the 2022 Grey Cup ($1.0 million), safe sidewalk program ($1.15 million), as well as increases to Paratransit Services ($1.0 million), Hazardous Household Waste Program ($200,000) and new initiatives such as Winter City Strategy, and the Adapted Recreation Program.

Electricity & Natural Gas: This increase is related to removing the one-time 10% decrease in electricity charges by SaskPower in 2021 to help reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Office & Administrative: This increase is primarily related to increased insurance costs. Costs in this category relate primarily to system and software costs, insurance premiums, and security services.

Material, Goods & Supplies: Costs in this category relate primarily to fleet maintenance, concrete and asphalt materials, chemicals for parks and pools, and equipment.

Other External: This increase is primarily related to increases in hardware costs and alley maintenance costs. Costs related to hardware costs, facilities rentals from Regina Exhibition Association Limited, alley maintenance and winter roads maintenance.

Training & Travel: This increase is related to a recovery of the one-time reduction in spending in this category due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

Contribution to Capital: This increase is related to the dedicated mill rate for the Recreational Infrastructure Program and a planned increase of approximately three per cent to continue to address the infrastructure gap in the City.

Transfer to Reserve: Transfers from the Operating Budget, primarily from related fees, are meant to cover future costs related to operations for services such as Solid Waste, Cemeteries and Golf Courses.

Debt Servicing: This line item relates primarily to Mosaic Stadium debt payments.

Community Investment: This increase is primarily related to increased funding provided to Economic Development Regina and Heritage Conservation and reflects ongoing funding for Harm Reduction. The total includes funding provided to community associations, events and other local organizations.

There were also multiple amendments made to the budget.

For the Operating Budget:

  • Restatement of the golf course tax subclass. 
  • City council allocated $209,240 to the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District to fund a Community Support Program in the Warehouse District in 2022. That funding would be paid through funding is expensed from the Community Safety Wellness funding source provided in 2022. 
  • The third amendment will see the summer swim hours expanded from 12 pm to 8 pm to 8 am to 8 pm for the Maple Leaf Pool and Buffalo Meadows Pool. This will cost the City $50,000.

In the Utility Budget, only one amendment was made. Council approved the total cost of the Eastern Pressure Solution multi-year projects for $89 million. This is to provide certainly for bidders on the RFP. It also includes provisions to rent fire hydrants to use as a temporary water source.

Also approved were the 2022 to 2026 Capital Plan and the 2022 to 2026 Utility Capital Plan.

 

More from 620 CKRM