*Please see below a news release issued by the Region of Halton.
The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
July 14, 2021
On July 14, 2021, Regional Council approved Halton’s 2022 Budget Directions Report. The Report provides guidelines to staff to maintain existing service levels for Regional programs while supporting the community’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It also establishes a target property tax increase at or below the rate of inflation (2.0 per cent).
“The 2022 Budget Directions Report is an important step in the development of our next Budget and Business Plan. It lays a foundation to help us preserve our strong financial position, keep property taxes low and support our community as more residents get vaccinated and Halton gradually reopens.” — Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr
The Report identifies priorities for Regional investments in 2022 to ensure residents have access to essential services while providing for critical program enhancements to address community growth. It also ensures next year’s Budget aligns with the strategic themes, objectives and outcomes outlined in the 2019–2022 Strategic Business Plan.
Financial pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout are also identified in the Report. Staff are closely monitoring current and potential fiscal impacts as they develop plans for 2022. The Region will continue to address program pressures, reallocate resources to priority areas and maintain service levels to help achieve a property tax rate increases at or below the rate of inflation.
Some of Halton’s Budget priorities for 2022 include:
- Public Health: continuing to respond to COVID-19, implement the vaccine roll-out and support recovery while assessing impact of changes to Provincial-Municipal cost share for Public Health.
- Paramedic Services: addressing increased costs associated with inflation, rising call volumes, maintaining response times, population and other growth pressures.
- Children’s Services: maintaining service levels following Provincial funding reductions and uncertainty around funding levels for 2022.
- Digital Strategy: expanding the delivery of the Region’s services online and providing staff with the ability to collaborate and access information when working remotely.
- Waste Management: continuing improvements to the Halton Waste Management Site to enhance customer service experience. Also includes planning for the transition of the Blue Box program to full Producer responsibility with integration into a new Medium-Long Term Solid Waste Management Strategy in 2022.
- Transportation: supporting increased costs associated with road maintenance and resurfacing, ensuring roads are kept in a state of good repair and expanding road assets to support Provincially mandated growth.
- Rent Supplement Program: assisting households in the shelter system who are looking to transition to safe, permanent housing options.
- Homelessness: maintaining emergency shelter and supportive housing for families, couples and single women to support increased demand for services during COVID-19.
- Services for Seniors: supporting costs associated with appropriate infection prevention and control measures, staff and visitor screening, ongoing staff vaccinations and capacity to respond to further outbreaks.
- Water and wastewater system: maintaining access to water and wastewater services as the region grows by expanding infrastructure in the community and investing in the state-of-good-repair capital program.
- Basement flooding mitigation: continuing the Region-wide Basement Flooding Mitigation Program to help reduce the risk of basement flooding caused by severe weather.
- Long-term water meter strategy: installing an advanced water meter system in 2022 and deploying new meters across the region between 2022 and 2025.
The 2022 Council Budget Meeting is scheduled for December 8, 2021, and the 2022 Budget and Business Plan is scheduled to be considered for approval by Regional Council on December 15, 2021.
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist