07 April 2020 0 Comments Posted By : Kevin Yarr

Charlottetown increases spending to aid post-pandemic economic recovery

The City of Charlottetown is planning more spending on infrastructure in the hopes of boosting the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city released its 2020-21 budget Thursday.

"We will continue to work with provincial and federal governments to ensure that we strive to meet the collective needs of our citizens and mitigate the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis," said finance chair Coun. Terry Bernard in a news release.

"We must also be prepared to play a role in getting our economy back up and running again once the risk of infection has diminished, which is why we have increased capital and operational spending for water and sewer utility upgrades, major street work, and emergency services."

The increased spending necessitated changes to the already passed capital budget. Council was presented with a resolution to amend the capital budget, adding an extra $1 million for street resurfacing.

Bernard said planned spending on water and sewer utility upgrades will be expedited, so the work will begin quickly once restrictions are lifted.

Cost of parking

The city is increasing the cost of parking in the downtown effective Sept. 1.

Metered parking on the street will go up from $1.50 an hour to $2 an hour.

Parkade fees are also rising, going from $1.25 per hour to $1.75 per hour. Daily and monthly fees will also go up.

The city said the money collected through parking will be used to maintain the parkades.

Surplus grows

The city is projecting a surplus of $2.95 million for the 2019-20 budget year just completed. At this time last year it was forecasting a surplus of $11,000.

Much of the unexpectedly large surplus comes from a contingency budget that was not spent last year. The city budgeted $1.6 million for extraordinary expenditures last year, but only about $100,000 of that budget was spent.

Estimated expenditures for the coming year are $59.7 million, with a forecast surplus of $24,885.

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