City of Cambridge releases 2022 Draft Budget & Business Plan: Our City, Our Future

Posted on Thursday November 18, 2021

The City of Cambridge released the 2022 Draft Budget and Business Plan today.  Entitled Our City, Our Future, the full document and background information can be found at www.engagewr.ca/budget-2022.

The 2022 budget and business plan drives the City forward in meeting its goals and objectives under the newly-updated Strategic Plan, Cambridge Connected. The budget highlights the City’s commitment to public value, through a concerted effort to bring tax and water rate increases within the rate of inflation while maintaining existing services and furthering the work towards our strategic actions.

The proposed budget acts as a roadmap for our ongoing economic recovery as the City emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic and focuses on initiatives which invest in our neighborhoods and recreation facilities, and support our local businesses and core areas.

Many of the initiatives contained in the 2022 Budget are the continuation of important multi-year projects such as the Recreation Complex, and the Fountain Street Soccer Complex.

In 2022, we will continue to take action to combat climate change, as well as to safeguard our community through an updated pandemic plan and improved emergency prevention and response measures.

We aim to be a transit-friendly and an accessible city, through our implementation of the Transportation and Cycling Master plans, seeking a World Health Organization Age Friendly Designation, and enhancing our equity and inclusion efforts through furthering the Reconciliation Action Plan and Diversity Action Plan.

As well, in 2022, we will continue to implement the Core Area Transformation Fund to encourage growth in our downtowns. The creation of a new Economic Development Strategy will help small businesses succeed in Cambridge.

Again this year, we have broken down the numbers to include a summary of the proposed operating budget, capital budget and your water utility bill in an effort to make this information more clear for residents. The document is presented in alignment with our strategic plan to clearly demonstrate how we are meeting our goals as a city

Please see draft project highlights here.

Operating Budget

Under the tax-supported operating budget, staff are proposing a 2.96 per cent tax increase on the City portion of the tax bill, which represents $42/year for the average household. The proposed operating budget is $132.2 million and covers the cost of services such as snow removal, maintenance and fire services.

Capital Budget

Overall, the preliminary capital investment plan includes 77 projects totaling $66.6 million. It includes $12.5 million for strategic initiatives to create and activate spaces that will offer greater options for our residents to do, such as the Arts & Culture Master Plan, and the redevelopment at Soper Park. These major projects, and many others, will help stimulate the economy by creating jobs over the short and long term.

Costs for several multi-year key capital projects, such as the Preston Auditorium Expansion and the Riverside Dam Renewal, have increased significantly over the last years. The budget process represents an opportunity to review the scope and timelines of these projects to ensure a fiscally responsible debt capacity. 

Water Utility Budget

The water utility budget determines the City’s water and sewer rates. The budget is proposed to increase by 2.39 per cent, which is $29/year for the City portion of the average household water bill.

Key Dates

  • November 23, 2021, 5 p.m. – Special Council Meeting: Budget presentation.
  • December 2, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and reconvene at 5 p.m. – Budget delegations and budget deliberation. Residents are invited to share their thoughts on the draft budget virtually or in writing. Please visit www.cambridge.ca/delegation to register.
  • December 7, 5 p.m. – Budget deliberation continues (if needed).
  • December 9, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and reconvene at 5 p.m. – Budget deliberation continues (if needed).

All meetings will be live-streamed at www.cambridge.ca/councillive.