After two days of budget deliberations, Brandon City Council has approved a $125.4-million operating budget including utilities and a 138.7-million capital budget, representing a municipal tax increase of 1.6% for 2023 for an average single-family house.
Council debated several amendments in all areas of municipal spending. Council was also able to initiate numerous enhancements to the budget that will be of benefit to our residents and businesses.
Major projects from the proposed capital budget includes:
- $41.7 million for the water treatment facility expansion
- $25 million for land drainage improvements, including the Southeast Drainage Project
- $9.7 million for new wastewater sewers, including the Southwest Lift Station Project*
- $13.7 million for the multi-year construction of the Outdoor Sports Field Complex
- $1.7 million Eastview Landfill Cell Design & Construction
- $900,000 for the detailed design of the conceptual cultural hub at the Library/Arts building**
- $200,000 for the conceptual detail design of the Sportsplex Arena
- $400,000 for the river corridor trail loop paving project
- $75,000 for the transit route planning study, which will include rapid transit options
Added during budget deliberations by City Council:
- $72,000 for a temporary Housing and Wellness position
- $200,000 for Downtown Initiatives
- $300,000 to improve Ambulance Services
- $178,000 to the Brandon Police Service budget to start a Community Safety Officer program
- $40,000 for the addition of a By-Law Enforcement Officer Position
- $31,000 to waive specialised criminal record fees
- $36,000 for the Age Friendly Committee and Poverty Committee
- $10,000 for a community garden in Ward 1
- $8,000 for Indigenous training for staff and council
- $80,000 for Brandon General Museum and Archives
- $50,000 for community outreach and engagement
- $20,000 each for Ashley Neufeld and Andrews Field Softball Complex
- $125,000 for a new outdoor rink in Ward 1
- $171,000 to the commonwealth air training plan museum to repair restructure projects
- $207,000 for streets and sidewalks on top of what was already budgeted by administration, including $33,000 for Ashley Neufeld sidewalks
- $50,000 for crosswalk enhancements on top of what was already budgeted by administration
"This budget was extremely challenging with many needs in our community, higher inflation costs, and several large ticket costs. I am extremely proud of the work of our entire Council and administrative team," notes Mayor Jeff Fawcett. "I am pleased with the collegial, collaborative, and progressive approach of our Council, and the constructive results we have achieved in the face of difficult tasks."
The Council approved budget will now proceed to the public hearing stage, a date for which will be determined in the spring.