2021 Budget: Our City. Our Future.

Posted on Tuesday November 24, 2020

The City of Cambridge released the 2021 draft Budget and Business Plan today.  Entitled Our City. Our Future., the full document and background information can be found at https://www.engagewr.ca/budget-2021.

The 2021 budget reflects our current financial reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has had major financial impacts on the City and across almost every sector. Our goal is to help lessen the tax burden on our residents and to support economic recovery. This is why we are recommending a modest one per cent tax levy increase, which is less than the forecasted cost of inflation.  This results in an increase of $13 per year for the City portion on an average residential tax bill. The City received federal emergency funding which, in combination with our own cost containment efforts, has helped offset lost revenues and has enabled us to bring forward this budget.

The proposed budget represents a balance between meeting the needs of our growing community and the challenges of a public health emergency. Most of the initiatives contained in the 2021 Budget are the continuation of important multi-year projects that will have a positive impact on the community. This includes the design of the recreation complex, construction of the Preston Auditorium and Fountain Street Soccer complex, trail improvements, stormwater infrastructure renewal, the Beverly Street pedestrian underpass design and other road work. These taxpayer-funded community investments will assist with increasing private sector job creation and local economic recovery. Please see highlights here.

In 2021, we will continue to focus on emergency and pandemic preparedness, community wellbeing and safety, and supporting our local businesses. We will be launching our revised strategic plan in the months ahead which will further define and guide City Council's priorities.

The budget is the culmination of ongoing engagement on public priorities throughout the year, including a community satisfaction survey. Again this year, we have broken down the numbers to include a summary of the 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.

Key Dates

  • November 24, 2020 – Budget workshop for Council, 6pm – 8pm. Staff presentation (live streamed).
  • November 30, 2020- Budget delegation night, 4-6 pm and 7-9 pm. Residents are invited to share their thoughts on the draft budget virtually or in writing. Please visit www.cambridge.ca/delegation to register.
  • December 2, 2020 –Virtual Special Budget Meeting, 10 am. Staff presentation and deliberation.