Last month, Mississauga’s city council approved its 2020-2023 Business Plan and 2020 Budget on January 22. The gross 2020 operating and capital budget of $926.1 million will support Mississauga’s corporate priorities and overall Strategic Plan. Changes and improvements will be delivered by funding certain city programs and service enhancements.
The budget approval arrived after a one-month delay due to previous concerns about Peel Region’s proposed budget, which included increased property and police taxes. Council members unanimously agreed in December that reviewing Peel’s fiscal plan was necessary before approving Mississauga’s 2020 budget in January.
Upon approval, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie praised the 2020 budget for achieving “the right balance between keeping taxes around the rate of inflation while ensuring we continue to deliver the high-quality services our residents expect.”
After back-and-forth property tax discussions, the City of Mississauga agreed to a 1.60 per cent residential property tax increase. This will result in approximately an $88 property tax increase on an average residential property valued at $688,000. The property tax portion for the Region of Peel will have a 1.64 per cent increase.
Costs related to construction and maintenance will be rising.
“We are experiencing growing needs in our city including affordable housing, more transit infrastructure and funding for growth on the waterfront,” said Crombie in a news release.
The $4.4 million operating budget will target new initiatives focusing on delivering programs and services. The capital budget, which projects $2.9 billion over 10 years, will focus on “enhancing and maintaining infrastructure.”
City manager Janice Baker estimates $2.4 million in cost savings under the 2020 Budget.
“Our commitment to service excellence, fiscal responsibility and continuous improvement are key elements of our business planning and budgeting activity,” said Baker in a statement.
Residents, as well as those who study and work in Mississauga, can expect to benefit from some of the following 2020 projections:
In 2020, MiWay will add 32,600 service hours to provide “new service, streamline routes, integrate with new transit hubs, improve off-peak service levels and reduce overcrowding.”
Twenty-two new transit operators will also be added. Transit infrastructure will receive more resourcing to ensure stops and terminals are maintained. More MiWay buses will be added to support its service growth.
The city’s transit fare strategy will continue its “value for money” approach through the U-Pass for University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) transit riders. This includes programs such as the Senior Fare, Freedom Pass (12-14 years) and the Affordable Transportation Program for low-income riders (with Peel).
Located within a short distance from UTM, the South Common Community Centre and Library will see major renovations. The Central Library will also be revitalized to include “infrastructure for more modern and future-focused digital offerings.”
Part of its expansion will include adding 6,000 square feet of library space. The budget will also invest in library technology enhancements to modernize its customer service experience.
For example, more programs will be added to “Maker Mississauga,” an existing program that offers library patrons the chance to use equipment such as “3D printers, building kits, robotics, sewing machines, [and] filmmaking tools.”
In 2020, the Churchill Meadows Community Centre will be the city’s twelfth community centre. The centre plans to offer a “triple gymnasium, a six lane 25-meter indoor pool, therapeutic tank, teaching kitchen, and multi-purpose spaces.”
Designs for a newly renovated Cooksville Community Centre will also begin. The Carmen Corbasson and Burnhamthorpe Community Centre pools will be redeveloped.
Roads, Safety, Environment
Six new fire stations will also be constructed over the next 12 years. The city will invest $3.8 million in public safety, including enhanced public education programs and outreach.
Mississauga will continue to design and develop waterfront parks, including the recent Lakeview Development plan. The City will also begin implementing its first Climate Change Action Plan.
2020 investments on similar projects will include continuing the Transportation Master Plan (TMP), the Action Plan, and Mississauga’s Vision Zero Program.