Yellowknife, NWT – Yellowknife city councillors have cut more than $2 million in expenditure on future projects in order to keep tax levels the same in 2015.
The budget passed this week will see no increase in property tax. It also halves administration’s planned increases in user fees for solid waste management, water and sewer services.
“Council does tend to hear quite often about the cost of living and doing business here. This was a genuine attempt to try to control our costs and what we cost our residents,” said the city’s mayor, Mark Heyck.
Projects cut to keep those costs down include a proposed weigh-out scale at the solid waste facility (saving $250,000), the creation of a marketing organization designed to increase tourism in the city, and much of the landscaping work proposed for 52nd Avenue, which is currently being redeveloped.
“But the budget does a lot of positive things,” said the mayor. “It continues to invest in infrastructure renewal, and it invests in cost-saving measures such as energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.”
Heyck says while Yellowknife residents and businesses frequently cite the cost of living as their priority, the budget remains a balancing act.
“On Facebook I posted about the budget and there being no property tax increase. Then I posted about a potential splash park scheduled to be built here in our 2017 capital plan.
“The post about no tax increase got about 65 likes. The one about the splash park got about 130 likes. It’s a bit of a signal, I think, as to what Yellowknifers’ priorities are.”
CJCD Moose FM News