Ottawa’s municipal draft budget 2020 includes a substantial investment for its wastewater treatment plant.

The proposed operating budget is $3.76 billion, representing a $136.8-million increase over 2019. A three-per-cent tax increase amounts to an extra $109 for an average urban home, or about $9 per month.

“Budget 2020 delivers an affordable, economically vibrant city with strong transportation links between neighbourhoods and record investments in affordable housing. We’re closing the infrastructure gap and boosting support for people services while maintaining a prudent, responsible financial approach,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

With increased support for infrastructure maintenance, the city would close the infrastructure gap in seven years, rather than 10 years. Without adding new debt, total investments to maintain and renew assets like roads, sidewalks and facilities would increase by $22.5 million, bringing the City to $151 million invested in 2020, an increase of 18 per cent over 2019.

“We are delivering more of these core services while staying within Council’s tax-increase direction and its Long Range Financial Plan,” said city manager Steve Kanellakos.

The proposed budget provides for investments in the environment, including $17.5 million to rehabilitate the city’s wastewater treatment plant, $3 million to improve energy efficiency at city buildings, $3 million to rehabilitate water pumping stations, and $2 million for enhanced corrosion control at the two water purification plants. The budget also includes $1.5 million to plant about 125,000 trees.

The draft budget assumes a 1.5-per-cent increase in property assessment growth, worth an estimated $24.9 million.

The proposed spending plan will be considered by all standing committees, then by Council on Wednesday, December 11th.

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