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Budget deliberations get underway at London City Hall

The City of London is currently deliberating its 2020-23 multi-year budget. 980 CFPL/File Photo

City councillors are continuing their work towards finalizing London’s multi-year budget on Thursday.

Meeting as the strategic priorities and policy committee, councillors will be debating the multi-year budget on Thursday as well as the $183 million in proposed new spending that goes along with it.

The budget aims to cover municipal costs between 2020 and 2023.

As it stands, London residents are facing a minimum tax increase of 3.2 per cent in order to maintain the already existing city services and make up for a loss in provincial funding.

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That will reach upwards of 4.5 per cent once additional investments for things like housing and waste management are factored in.

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“We always have more than enough positive things to spend money on and limited resources to do so,” said Ward 7 Coun. Josh Morgan, who is also budget chair. Morgan stresses that this will be a budget full of tough decisions.

“We have two things we can control: one, getting value for the money we spend and two, making choices about where to spend it, and often those are opportunity-cost choices where you can’t do everything so you have to choose,” said Morgan.

“Often, those are difficult choices. There are a dozen good things that would be really helpful for the city, and you have money to do eight of them — that’s why the public engagement is so important.”

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Councillors will look at the feedback they heard at last week’s public meeting, where hundreds packed council chambers to give their thoughts on what the city should be considering and which projects aren’t a priority.

The next public meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.

More details can be found on the city’s website dedicated to receiving public input.

— With files from Global News’ Sawyer Bogdan

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