Kingston City Council - 16 Jan - Budget Meeting Part 2

Main point of discussion was the city's budget

The city council meeting on 15 Jan 2024 discussed the following points. Meeting details can be found here.

1. Growth and Development Services: 

  • Led by Commissioner Eggon, this department had reorganized and now included a variety of services like sustainable development, housing, and climate change initiatives.

  • The budget variance was 3.61%, with most operational budgets below the target.

  • The 2024 capital budget ask was over $1 million.

  • Key staff members were introduced, including directors of various services like business, real estate, environment, planning, and building services​​.

2. Public Works and Solid Waste Services:

  • Implementation of automated cart-based waste collection systems was a key topic.

  • There were discussions about increasing asphalt and concrete repairs and addressing pothole repairs.

  • Financial aspects included increased expenses in salaries, wages, materials, and fleet costs.

3. Transportation Services:

  • The Transportation department focused on developing a transportation plan in line with the city's official plan.

  • Conducting transportation studies for specific areas like Williamsville North Kingstown.

  • Pedestrianization of Ontario Market Streets.

  • Implementation of city-wide speed limit reductions.

  • Introduction of an automated speed enforcement program.

  • Emphasis on traffic calming, pedestrian crossing, and neighborhood safety programs​​.

  • Introducing an automated speed enforcement program​​. 

  • The transit services discussed not increasing fares and improving bus operator retention.

4. Engineering Services and Major Projects Office:

  • Prioritized delivering approved capital projects and leading sewer separation projects with Utilities Kingston.

  • Focus on implementing Greening Street measures and strengthening stormwater management in development review.

  • A key goal was to complete the long-term Asset Management plan for roads and bridges​​.

5. Kingston Fire and Rescue:

  • Continued focus on advancements under their accredited agency status, involving extensive data analytics.

  • They revised the firefighter recruitment process, shifting the hiring schedule for the remaining firefighters needed for a new station. This approach aimed to manage expenses more effectively​​.

6. Other Discussions: Other topics included the development of little forests on public land, increasing pollinator gardens, community engagement in beautifying right-of-ways, improvements in waste diversion levels, and investments in forestry and shoreline improvements.

The council did not pass the budget during the meeting on January 16, 2024. The legislation allows for a 30-day period for amendments to be proposed after the budget is presented. Since the budget was presented on January 5th, the 30-day period would not conclude until early February. The discussion in the meeting was centered around providing certainty for staff to move forward with their plans without concern for potential amendments that might be proposed in the following weeks​​.

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