After another challenging year navigating the global pandemic, the City of Corner Brook is excited to once again unveil a balanced budget. As an organization, the City of Corner Brook was required to adapt and change throughout 2021. All departments responded to the circumstances with creativity and dedication. This has meant a sustained level of services for residents despite the challenges at hand
The total spending in the 2022 budget is $35,588,100 with an increase of only $137,500 (0.39%) above the 2021 budget.
By learning lessons from the 2021 budget due to hardships caused by COVID-19, and through new efficiencies, this balanced budget has been achieved without any increases to residential property taxes. The City has also been able to maintain a freeze on mil rates for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, offsetting any losses which were sustained due to travel restrictions.
Budget 2022 Highlights
Total spending in the 2021 budget is $35,588,100. This represents an increase of $137,500 (0.39%) above the previous 2021 budget.
There will be no increase to the residential Mil Rate.
There will be a $25 unit charge increase for commercial and residential units to reflect a the updated cost of water treatment for the City. The unit charge has not increased since 2015, and over this period costs to operate the water treatment plant have increased by 33% or ($385,700). The increased unit charge will generate $257,000 in incremental revenue, and will also apply to property owners in Massey Drive and Mount Moriah who also receive treated water from the plant.
Commercial assessments are down 4%. This decrease will be offset by an increase in the commercial Mil Rate from 12.5 to 13.0 mils. No incremental revenues will be generated, and this only serves to replace revenues to 2021 level.
Business Tax revenue for 2022 is budgeted to be $90,000 (1.6%) lower than the 2021 budget. As a result, in 2022, there will be adjustments to six business class categories (158 business locations) to offset the lower assessment values. The adjustment in business tax mil rates are not creating incremental tax dollars from the 2021 level, but maintaining the City’s tax revenues for 2022. All other business tax categories affecting 654 business locations are remaining the same, despite generally lower assessments.
Our debt service ratio is healthy for 2022 with the lowest debt percentage in recent memory at 8.85%. This low debt ratio will allow us to take on additional capital projects with the funding which is now available.
Capital projects for the 2022 fiscal year will include a $5Million contribution towards the new Regional Aquatic Centre, with further funding from both the Federal and Provincial governments making up the rest of the 24.7 Million investments.
The City is also anticipating a positive announcement on our funding proposal to upgrade the storm and sanitary system on Mount Bernard Avenue.
Increased funding has been allocated in the 2022 budget for:
- Sidewalk maintenance and street cleaning;
- Tourism initiatives including branding, wayfinding improvements, along with trail development, and
- Recreational programming.
The City is currently updating its Integrated Municipal Sustainability Plan, a process which began in Spring of 2021 and will continue into the new year.
We are thankful to the Province for the announcement of Provincial multi-year capital funding to support $8.25 million in capital projects. The majority of this funding will be utilized in the 2022 calendar year including:
- Johnson’s Avenue;
- Storm Sewer upgrades;
- Street Resurfacing;
- Traffic Intersection Improvements;
- Blackwood Hill Culvert & Bridge Replacement;
- Bells Brook Culvert Replacement, and
- Citadel Drive PRV Upgrades.
Engineering work on all of these projects has already started with a target of having the projects tendered early in the first quarter of 2022.
We look forward to another exciting year for Corner Brook. We are setting the course for the next decade in our City, and in 2022 we will see a number of projects take shape which will make Corner Brook a stronger, more vibrant regional hub.
City of Corner Brook
Office: (709) 637-1662
Cell: (709) 632-8113