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City of Peterborough engaging with community on development of 2023 budget

The City of Peterborough is calling on residents to weigh in on the 2023 budget. Global Newsfile

The City of Peterborough wants to hear from its residents during its 2023 budget development and deliberation process.

The city is hosting a series of virtual or telephone meetings where residents can weigh in.

“We’re trying to make this as transparent as we can,” said Coun. Keith Riel, chair of the city’s finance committee.

“It has an impact on everyone through their property tax. Tell us what you think is a comfortable number for you, but also what your priorities are and what you want us to do with that money.”

Read more: Busy road construction season ahead in Peterborough County

The drop-in community meetings are scheduled:

  • Thursday, March 31, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Ashburnham Ward
  • Thursday, April 7, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Otonabee Ward
  • Thursday, April 14, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Monaghan Ward
  • Thursday, April 21, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Town Ward
  • Thursday, April 28, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Northcrest Ward

Riel notes that while the meetings are scheduled for specific wards, anyone in the city can attend and participate in any of the forums.

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“Budget talks are really about the services and infrastructure investments by the City on behalf of its residents and businesses,” stated Coun. Gary Baldwin, finance committee vice-chair.

“Property tax dollars support priorities such as housing, climate change, flood reduction, social services, economic development, roads, and investments in quality of life. Citizen input in the budget process will help council set the direction for our city.”

An online survey is also available to gather feedback on how important services and initiatives such as arts and culture, affordable housing, police and fire services, and active transportation are to residents.

It also asks residents how the city should balance its budget, including options such as increasing property taxes, new or increased user fees for services or reducing service levels altogether.

It closes on April 29.

“There are some things that have to be in the budget.  Some legislative services that the city must provide, but there’s also a lot of room for input,” said Richard Freymond, city treasurer and Commissioner of Corporate and Legislative Services.

“There’s a lot of room for ideas to shape the conversation.”

Click to play video: 'Peterborough city council adopts 2022 budget'
Peterborough city council adopts 2022 budget

Other key budget consultation dates include:

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  • Public meeting on draft budget guideline – June 22, 2022
  • Draft 2023 budget released for public review – Dec. 5, 2022
  • Public meeting on draft 2023 budget – Jan. 9, 2023
  • Finance Committee budget deliberations – Jan 16 – 19, 2023
  • City council considers approval of 2023 budget – Jan. 30, 2023

For information on how to attend the online or telephone meetings or to take the budget survey, go to connectptbo.ca/2023budget.

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