Peel Regional Council Approves 2010 Budget - Essential Services Maintained with Some Priority Service Enhancements
BRAMPTON, ON. (Jan 27, 2010) – On Thursday, Jan. 21, Regional Council approved Peel’s 2010 Current and Capital Budget. The 2010 Regional budget was approved at $1.6 billion for operations and $527.6 million for capital projects.
The approved budget includes a combined tax rate increase of 1.9% or an average of $32 per household, and a utility rate increase of 5% or $21 to the average household for Water and Wastewater services. Priorities for the 1.9% tax rate increase are: 0.4% for Regionally-controlled programs; 1.3% for Police Services; and 0.2% for the Conservation Authorities.
“This has been a particularly difficult year for our Peel community due to the impacts of recession on families and businesses and the threat of an H1N1 outbreak,” said Regional Chair Emil Kolb. “Early in the budget process, we determined that we needed to ensure those most vulnerable continue to get the services they require, while ensuring our 2010 budget was responsive to the economic environment and our taxpayers.”
More residents have been relying on services provided by the Region. The 2009 monthly average caseload for Ontario Works was up 28.5% over the 2008 average, meaning an additional 2,845 individuals or families are receiving income support and employment services.
Over the past 18 months, the Region has seen a substantial decline in revenues in a number of areas including waste commodity prices, and residential and commercial water consumption.
“Throughout the year, Regional Council made decisions regarding programs and policies to maintain the overall well being and prosperity of our Peel community,” said Member of General Committee and Chair of the Management Sub-committee, Richard Whitehead. “We see with this budget, that every effort was made to support our direction, while keeping the impacts to our taxpayers top of mind.”
The 2010 Budget provides for the maintenance of programs at the 2009 service level as well as a few priority service enhancements:
- Increase paramedic service hours by 12,775 to provide service to the growing Peel population and help reduce the time it takes for paramedics to arrive at a 911 emergency
- Individuals with disabilities will have fewer travel barriers to actively participate in the community as 33,000 more Accessible Transportation trips will be offered
- Families living in neighbourhoods identified as having high needs will benefit from funding directed to youth and child-focused programs such as summer day camps, literacy and learning programs, and after school activities
- 14,600 families and individuals will be able to receive social assistance and job supports
- 1,000 more low income seniors will benefit from urgent dental treatment
- 25 additional families and housing providers will receive support for assisted housing
- 2,650 working families with low income will have more money for family necessities after the elimination of child care co-payment fees
- Ability to prevent disease outbreaks, obesity and diabetes, and increase the number of public health inspections will be enhanced
- Maintain the state of good repair of Regional roads and facilities
- 1 additional full-time O.P.P. officer for a new high school in Caledon and part-time /special constable court staffing allowing for the redeployment of 2 full-time O.P.P. officers
- Additional investment in conservation authorities to address flood control and climate change
- Increase of 27 uniform positions in Peel Police to maintain services for the growing population base and meet emerging service demands
“We are focusing our efforts on developing, building and maintaining an infrastructure that will enhance the livelihood of our growing and thriving community,” stated Member of General Committee and Chair of the Public Works Section of General Committee Elaine Moore. “That means ensuring we invest in an effective network of arterial roads to safely and swiftly move people and goods across Peel, manage our water systems to protect the health of our residents, provide tools and services to deal with our waste in an environmentally responsible manner, and make sure we have adequate operational support to carry out these essential functions.”
“With 12,775 hours added to our Peel Regional Paramedic Services, we can ensure that when anyone in Peel needs medical treatment in an emergency situation, our paramedics will be there to provide exceptional pre-hospital care,” said Member of General Committee and Chair of the Health Services Committee Annette Groves. “Our residents can enjoy a better quality of life using Peel Public Health programs, Long Term Care and Peel Regional Paramedic Services.”
“The Human Services budget represents an investment in people. It seeks to provide resources in ways that strengthen individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities,” said Member of General Committee and Chair of the Human Services Section of General Committee Pat Mullin. “It also strives to build the capacity of the community’s Human Services infrastructure by investing in the organizations, staff, volunteers and networks that contribute significantly to our resilience and the overall quality of life Peel has to offer.”
Tax supported programs include Roads, Waste Collection and Recycling, Ontario Works, Children's Services, Social Housing, Public Health, Long Term Care, Paramedic Services, Emergency Planning and 911, Peel Heritage Complex, Accessible Transportation, Police Services and Conservation Authorities. Rate supported programs include Water and Wastewater.
The Region of Peel serves 1.2 million residents and approximately 85,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the town of Caledon. Peel is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada and continues to experience significant population growth. In 2010, it is projected that the population will grow by 21,000 new residents. The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area.
For further information, please review the attached backgrounders: Frequently Asked Questions, 2009 Accomplishments, Where your tax dollar goes, Budget charts – 2010 Operating Budget, 2010 Regional Capital Budget, 2010 Tax Rate Increase, 2010 Utility Rate Increase, or visit the Region of Peel’s 2010 Budget at www.peelregion.ca.