At the February 8 General Committee Meeting at City Hall, the council deliberated for over three hours to decide on cutting services. As a result, Barrie residents will face a tax increase of approximately 3.07%, instead of the previously planned 3.95%.
“If you include the stormwater proposal, which would be directed towards fixing stormwater infrastructure, retaining, retaining ponds and other items as such, we’d be looking at somewhere around a seven and a half to 8% increase this year,“ Mayor Alex Nuttall said.
Consequently, Barrie residents will face higher costs for a variety of services, including water and sewage bills.
Starting April 1st, Barrie Transit cash fare will be increased by 25 cents to $3.50, though seniors will still pay the discounted rate of $3.
The city is scaling down its hiring; instead of the earlier plan to hire 22 additional city employees and convert temporary positions to full-time staff, only 13 full-time staff employees will be hired. However, as planned earlier, 20 new Barrie firefighters will be hired.
Residents will also pay more for their water and sewage bills; the water bill will increase by 3.7% to an estimated $390 per year, while the sewage bill will rise to around $560, a 5% increase. The city council is expected to give its final approval to the operating and capital budget on February 15th.
The Council has deferred budget approval for the Police Service Board, the Barrie Public Library, and County of Simcoe, to a General Committee meeting scheduled for March 8, 2023.