City Council approves 2022 Budget: Our City. Our Future.

Posted on Thursday December 02, 2021

City Council approved the 2022 Budget and Business Plan: Our City. Our Future this evening, concluding the budget process.

The 2022 Capital Budget represents a $59 million investment in new infrastructure, the rehabilitation and replacement of existing infrastructure, and supports the overall growth of the city. The Operating Budget dedicates $133.4 million toward the cost of city services, excluding water and sewer services.

The 2022 Budget acts as a roadmap for ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts and focuses on initiatives which invest in neighbourhoods and recreation facilities, and supports local businesses and core areas

“Overall this budget addresses the needs of our growing community and allows us to provide the service levels required. While it’s slightly higher than expected, we made the decision to support the renovation of Preston Auditorium as a major capital project. This will have an economic benefit by creating sport tourism opportunities, offer a sense of community pride and provide a space for so many to make lasting memories and work toward their goals.” said Budget Chair Deputy Mayor Mike Mann.

“I want to thank our staff team for guiding Mayor and Council through this process and delivering a sound budget.”

Recreation Projects

The capital investment plan includes 76 projects. It includes a variety of strategic initiatives to create and activate spaces that will offer greater recreation options for our residents, such as the Arts & Culture Master Plan, and the new design of Soper Park.

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

Five design options were discussed on the Preston Auditorium Expansion. Council voted for Option C ($26.2 million) which includes a new NHL-sized rink with 450 seats and full renovation of the existing arena to provide a second NHL-size ice pad, and a variety of amenities. 

These major projects, and many others, will help stimulate the economy by creating jobs over the short and long term.

Free Menstrual Products in City Facilities  

City Council voted to approve an amendment to the budget brought forward by Councillor Donna Reid to include the cost of providing free menstrual products at all city facilities. The impact on taxpayers will be 33 cents for the average household.

2022 Budget Highlights

The budget is aligned with the strategic plan, Cambridge Connected, to clearly demonstrate how the City is meeting its goals. 

People

  • Investing $4.9 million for strategic initiatives to create and activate spaces that will offer more things for people to do such as the design of the Preston/Blair Pedestrian Bridge, the Arts & Culture master plan, and updated amenities at Soper Park.
  • Working towards obtaining a World Health Organization “Age-Friendly” designation.
  • Enhancing equity and inclusion efforts by developing action plans and strategies for Reconciliation, Diversity, and Older Adults.

Place

  • Laying the foundation for future community-building through a Growth Management Strategy, Phase 2 work on the North Cambridge Business Park, and Heritage Character Studies for the Galt core and East Galt, as well as Heritage Conservation District Study in Hespeler.
  • Enhancing opportunities to enjoy built and natural heritage through the Parks Master Plan, and the first phase of the Heritage Condition Assessments of City properties.

Prosperity

  • Enabling small businesses to succeed through the development of an Economic Development Strategy and Municipal Accommodation Tax Strategy.
  • Establishing our core areas as attractive destinations with a Financial Incentive Program and continuing with the implementation of the Core Area Transformation Fund. 
  • Taking action to combat climate change with a Carbon Reduction Feasibility Study, Green House Gas Reduction Monitoring, a Green Fleet Strategy, and LED light replacements.
  • Preparing for emergency prevention and recovery through Emergency Response Planning, Continuity of Operations Planning, a Master Fire Plan Review, and Cyber Security Risk Management.
  • Promoting and developing more transportation options with a Cycling Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan, and design work for the Blair/Preston Pedestrian Bridge.

Household Impacts

The approved 2022 Budget represents an increase of 4.24 per cent, which equals approximately $61/year for the average household. The Preston Auditorium design represents 1.2 per cent of the increase.

Council also approved a water utility increase of 2.39 per cent ($29/year) which is well below the original projection of 3.9 per cent in the approved long-range financial plan.

To view the full 2022 Budget and Business Plan, visit www.engagewr.ca/budget-2022.

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Primary Media Contact

Susanne Hiller
Director of Corporate Communications
City of Cambridge
hillers@cambridge.ca