2021 Budget

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Covered pedestrian bridge in a park next to a pond

Thank you for engaging in developing the City's 2021 Budget.

Your contributions will help inform City Council's decision.

The Draft Budget documents have been posted and are available in the documents list on this page.

The Draft 2021 Budget reflects a 2.99% all-inclusive (municipal, education and sewer surcharge) property tax increase for the median residential property not on water, which would be an increase of $123.74 – or $10.31 a month.

Early in the 2021 Budget process, we ask residents about their budget priorities and about what City programs, projects and services are important to them. For this year's consultation, we also asked residents to share their ideas on how the City should invest the money from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc.

With the COVID-19-related cancellation of in-person, drop-in meetings during the first phase of our consultation on the 2021 Budget, we extended the online survey to provide another opportunity for public input. We have reported back to the community through a "What we heard" report to share the input gathered through the consultation.

On this page, you'll find key dates, contacts, and resources to learn more about the budget as well as various ways to share your ideas and feedback.

Thank you for engaging in developing the City's 2021 Budget.

Your contributions will help inform City Council's decision.

The Draft Budget documents have been posted and are available in the documents list on this page.

The Draft 2021 Budget reflects a 2.99% all-inclusive (municipal, education and sewer surcharge) property tax increase for the median residential property not on water, which would be an increase of $123.74 – or $10.31 a month.

Early in the 2021 Budget process, we ask residents about their budget priorities and about what City programs, projects and services are important to them. For this year's consultation, we also asked residents to share their ideas on how the City should invest the money from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc.

With the COVID-19-related cancellation of in-person, drop-in meetings during the first phase of our consultation on the 2021 Budget, we extended the online survey to provide another opportunity for public input. We have reported back to the community through a "What we heard" report to share the input gathered through the consultation.

On this page, you'll find key dates, contacts, and resources to learn more about the budget as well as various ways to share your ideas and feedback.

  • Overview of Draft 2021 Budget

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    11 Dec 2020

    Peterborough, ON – City Council will consider giving final approval to the City of Peterborough’s Draft 2021 Budget, which outlines investments in infrastructure and the provision of municipal services, at its meeting on Monday, December 14, 2020.

    The Draft 2021 Budget reflects a 2.99% all-inclusive (municipal, education and sewer surcharge) property tax increase for the median residential property not on water, which would be an increase of $123.74 – or $10.31 a month.

    Information on the budget, including the draft budget books and a Budget in Brief overview document, are available at peterborough.ca/budget.

    The Council meeting on December 14, 2020 will be livestreamed online at peterborough.ca/watchcouncil. To attend the meeting in person or to register to speak as a delegation, either in-person on by phone at Council, individuals must register by no later than 11 a.m. on December 14, 2020 by completing the online application at peterborough.ca/delegations or by calling 705-742-7777 ext. 1820. Registered delegates will be contact the afternoon prior to meeting with additional information and instructions.

    The City faces significant budget pressures for 2021 as a result of the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including reductions in revenues, increased costs, and reduced capital funding.

    At the start of the budget process, the full estimated financial impacts of the budget pressures for 2021 would have resulted in an all-inclusive increase of 5.14% for the taxpayer if the City wasn’t able to offset those impacts.

    As part of the efforts to respond to budget pressures, Council asked for a list of City services categorized as mandatory or non-mandatory services to assist with the review of budget priorities and considered fee increases as well as other measures to reduce the impact on taxpayers.

    The budget reflects the community’s priorities as considered by Council as well as the City’s legislated requirements. Council considers the desires and needs for services and infrastructure alongside the responsibility of maintaining the City’s long-term financial health.

    The Draft 2021 Budget operating spending totals $292.7 million (includes revenue from the Province, Government of Canada, fees, and other sources) with the following components:

    • 29% or $85.1 million for Social Services, including social housing, rent supplements, and social assistance
    • 13% or $38.1 million for external agencies such as Police Services, Peterborough Paramedics, Fairhaven, and Public Health
    • 10% or $30.7 million for capital financing for major infrastructure and capital costs
    • 10% or $30.4 million for Environmental Services, which includes services such as garbage, recycling, and waste water treatment
    • 8% or $22.7 million for transportation services, which includes $17.5 million for public transit and $5.2 million for traffic management, parking, and transportation planning
    • 7% or $19.6 million for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Arenas, Recreation and Community Grants
    • 7% or $19.1 million for Engineering, Construction, Public Works, and Infrastructure Management
    • 6% or $18.6 million for Fire Services and Emergency Management
    • 3% or $9.5 million for Financial Services and City general contingency
    • 3% or $8.6 million for Planning, Building Services, and Peterborough Airport
    • 2% or $4.5 million for general administration such as Human Resources, Legal Services, and the City Clerk’s Office
    • 1% or $3.6 million for information technology services
    • 1% or $2.2 million for City Council, the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and Communication Services

    When the City asked residents to rank the importance of issues in the community ahead of the drafting of the 2021 Budget earlier this year, a survey generated 519 responses with the following results:

    1. Housing/accommodations
    2. Social issues
    3. Cost of living
    4. Environment/climate change/sustainability
    5. Health/public health
    6. Economy/jobs/economic issues
    7. Infrastructure/transportation
    8. Crime/criminal activity
    9. Provision of recreation facilities
    10. Property taxes
    11. Governance/transparency
    12. Arts, culture and heritage

    Through its budget deliberations from November 23-25, Council reviewed proposed spending and revenues, making changes to the draft budget such as increasing capital funding for infrastructure needs and reducing corporate training and travel expenses.

    Council added $111,300 to the Capital Budget that would be used to finance an additional $1 million of roads surface pavement work, plus a $279,000 increase in funding that would be used to finance an additional $2.5 million in capital projects. Reports will be presented to Council early in 2021 to outline recommendations on priorities for utilizing the new capital funding.

    Other changes to the Draft 2021 Budget included adding in a new projects inspector position in the Building Division and an engineering technologist/inspector position to increase capacity for development applications and projects.

    “The past year has been challenging, and there are many uncertainties as we look ahead. COVID-19 will continue to have a profound impact on our community. However, we are also positioned to make bold decisions about what kind of City we want to be moving forward. The 2021 Budget looks towards recovery and a more resilient Peterborough. Housing and transportation continue to be two of our community’s top priorities,” Mayor Diane Therrien said. “Supporting our local businesses and residents is a key priority in keeping Peterborough unique and tenacious. Thank you to all the residents involved in the City’s Budget process, for sharing your ideas and ensuring that our City budget reflects the needs of our community.”

    “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the City will be keeping in mind the needs of citizens of Peterborough. The budget process, especially in these difficult days, needs to balance those wants and needs of the City with the ability to pay,” said Councillor Dean Pappas, Council’s Finance Chair.

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  • Draft 2021 Budget books

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    The City of Peterborough Draft 2021 Budget was presented to City Council at its meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020 and posted online at peterborough.ca/budget for public review ahead of Council’s budget deliberations later in November.

    Council will hold a public meeting on Monday, November 16, 2020 to hear from the community on the Draft 2021 Budget ahead of its budget deliberations scheduled for Monday, November 23 to Thursday, November 26, 2020.

    Outside boards and agencies will be attending a Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 as part of Council's review of the City's funding to the boards and agencies.

    For information on how to register as a delegation at a Council meeting, please visit peterborough.ca/delegation or call the City Clerk’s Office at 705-742-7777 ext. 1820.

    Council will consider approving the 2021 Budget on December 14, 2020.

    The Draft Operating Budget includes $292.2 million for programs and services, such as waste management, road maintenance, wastewater sewers and treatment, social assistance, housing, recreation, culture, fire services, and policing.

    The Draft Capital Budget includes $70.7 million for various infrastructure and capital projects such as road work, flood reduction efforts, facility maintenance, funding for the planned replacement of a fire station, sanitary sewer repairs, purchasing transit buses, funding for the implementation of City-wide household organic waste collection and composting, police capital projects, and work at the landfill.

    The Draft 2021 Budget includes a proposed 2.87% increase in the all-inclusive rate for the average taxpayer based on an estimated 2021 median assessed value of $260,000, which remains unchanged from 2020. For the median single-detached home not on water, the all-inclusive (municipal, education, and storm and sanitary sewer surcharge) increase would amount to an increase of $9.89 a month or $118.69 for the year.

    “The City of Peterborough’s annual budget is the guiding document for programs and capital works as the City moves forward. In recent years it has been a pleasure to see the increase in public participation in the budget process. It is especially important in these difficult times to encourage people to get involved and have a say in the process as Budget Committee works through balancing the City’s wants and needs with people’s ability to pay,” said Councillor Dean Pappas, Finance Chair.

  • 2021 Budget guideline

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    28 Jul 2020

    Council approved the 2021 Budget guideline on Monday, July 27, 2020, providing direction for the development of the City's Draft 2021 Budget, which will be presented to Council in November 2020 before holding a public meeting to get feedback from the community and then deliberating on the draft budget documents.

    Instead of providing a guideline of a target all-inclusive property tax increase for the typical homeowner, Council asked staff to return with information splitting out essential services, discretionary services, and services that the City isn't required to deliver as well as comparisons with other municipalities and opportunities for cost reductions.

    To maintain existing services levels would be $5.8 million (that cost includes $2.8 million directly related to impacts from COVID-19) and providing additional capital funding of $2 million would result in a $7.8-million budget increase, which would require a 5.14% increase in the all-inclusive property taxes for a typical homeowner. Staff had recommended a 3% all-inclusive (municipal, education and sewer surcharge) increase, which would still leave a shortfall of $3.8 million in funding that would be needed to maintain existing service levels. During its General Committee meeting, Council didn't support setting a guidelines with a 3% increase for 2021.

    "Staff are very cognizant of the taxpayer’s ability to pay, particularly in these unprecedented circumstances," staff state in the report to Council. "Presenting a budget that meets the guideline will have to involve a critical review of user fees and opportunities for new revenues, a more detailed review of escalating costs and opportunities to reduce them and potential service cuts."

    Council had supported asking staff to report back to Council to seek up to an additional 0.5% all-inclusive increase if the Province and federal government announce stimulus funding as part of their COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans and a municipal funding share is required to access those funds for projects.

    Council also endorsed that the annual earnings from investing the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. be directed toward enhancing funding for capital spending, such as repairing infrastructure.

    Council requested reports from staff to Finance Committee on various items, including:

    • potential savings that could be achieved based on a KPMG review of Social Services;
    • maintaining City funding to Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development Corporation, the Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Peterborough Humane Society, the Peterborough Family Health Team Network, and the Innovation Cluster at 2020 levels in 2021;
    • directing that no new staff positions be added in 2021 unless they are self sustaining;
    • options on potential actions to achieve savings and efficiencies in the transit operations budget;
    • the impact of raising user fees by 5% to 10% in 2021; and
    • information on zero based budgeting.

    To help inform the setting of the 2021 Budget guidelines and the development of the Draft 2021 Budget, the City consulted with residents through public drop-in sessions as well as a survey on community priorities. A What We Heard report on the results from the budget survey is available online at peterborough.ca/budget.

  • Draft 2021 Budget Guidelines report

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    24 Jun 2020

    Council is considering setting a guideline of a 3% all-inclusive (municipal, education, sanitary surcharge) increase for a typical property taxpayer in 2021.

    A recommended guideline would be considered by the Finance Committee on July 13, 2020 with approval of the direction expected at the regular Council meeting on July 27, 2020.

    The cost to maintain existing services levels would be $5.8 million. That cost includes $2.8 million directly related to impacts from COVID-19. Additional capital funding of $2 million would result in a $7.8-million budget increase, which would require a 5.14% increase in the all-inclusive property taxes for a typical homeowner. The recommended 3% increase would leave a shortfall of $3.8 million in the funding needed to maintain existing service levels.

    "However, staff are very cognizant of the taxpayer’s ability to pay, particularly in these unprecedented circumstances," staff state in the report to Council. "If this guideline is approved, presenting a budget that meets the guideline will have to involve a critical review of user fees and opportunities for new revenues, a more detailed review of escalating costs and opportunities to reduce them and potential service cuts."

    Between February and May, the City undertook consultation on community priorities to inform the development of the 2021 Budget. Feedback from the consultation is outlined in a What We Heard report that’s available at peterborough.ca/budget.

  • Re-opening of 2021 Budget survey

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    06 May 2020
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    Peterborough, ON – With the COVID-19-related cancellation of in-person, drop-in meetings during the first phase of the City of Peterborough’s consultation on the 2021 Budget, the City is re-opening an online survey to provide another opportunity for public input.

    This year, the budget survey on community priorities also includes a section on how the City could invest the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc., which was approved by the Ontario Energy Board last week. The City is expected to receive $50 million to $55 million in revenue from the sale after debt and other expenses.

    The budget survey is available at connectptbo.ca/2021budget. It is re-opened from May 5 until 9 p.m. on May 18, 2020.

    “We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these difficult times. The Budget Roadshow is moving online. Fill out the short survey to share your ideas and comments on community priorities as we start to prepare the City’s 2021 Budget,” said Councillor Dean Pappas, the City’s Finance Chair.

    “We know the personal, community and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic are going to continue to be felt in our community as residents and businesses recover from the emergency. With the extremely challenging financial situation, your input can help Council decide on setting priorities with our limited resources.”

    Council members can also be reached directly by email or phone with their contact information available at peterborough.ca/citycouncil.

    A report with recommendations on guidelines for the drafting of the 2021 Budget is expected to be presented to City Council in June 2020.

    Results from the community consultation will be reported back to the community through a What We Heard report, which will be provided to Council for its consideration ahead of setting the 2021 Budget guideline. A separate report specific to investing the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. will also be presented to Council.

    The Budget Roadshow got underway with the first of five scheduled informal drop-in sessions on March 5, 2020 before the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020. The provincial and local declarations of emergencies related to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the remaining Budget Roadshow drop-in sessions.

    The budget survey was previously open from February 25 to April 16, 2020 with 262 responses.

    The draft 2021 Budget is expected to be presented to Council in the fall with additional opportunities for community engagement before Council considers final approval of the budget in December.

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  • Launch of 2021 Budget consultations

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    27 Feb 2020

    Join the conversation to help shape the setting of priorities for the City of Peterborough’s 2021 Budget with a community survey and a series of drop-in sessions over the next two months.

    Both the survey and the drop-in sessions include opportunities to share ideas and provide comments on how the City could invest the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc., which is expected to generate $50 million to $55 million in revenue after debt and other expenses.

    The Budget Roadshow drop-in sessions are informal opportunities to talk with Council members, City staff, and other residents about community priorities to assist with planning for the 2021 Budget.

    The survey is available online at connectptbo.ca. Hard copies of the survey will be available to fill out during the drop-in sessions. The survey closes at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

    Budget Roadshow drop-in sessions

    • Thursday, March 5, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fire Hall 3, 839 Clonsilla Ave.
    • Thursday, March 12, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., James Strath Public School multi-purpose room, 1175 Brealey Dr.
    • Cancelled - Thursday, March 26, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Peterborough Public Library multi-purpose room, 345 Aylmer St.
    • Cancelled - Thursday, April 2, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Peterborough Museum and Archives museum classroom, 300 Hunter St. E.
    • Cancelled - Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Riverview Park and Zoo meeting room, 1300 Water St.

    The Connect Peterborough online consultation hub at connectptbo.ca will be used for other engagement opportunities throughout the budget process.

    Results from the consultation will be reported back to the community through a What We Heard report, which will be provided to Council for its consideration when setting the guidelines for the development of the 2021 Budget. A separate report specific to investing the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. will be presented to Council, including information from the community consultation.

    Recommendations on the budget guidelines will be presented to Council’s Finance Committee meeting on Monday, June 8, 2020, which will be followed by a formal meeting with public delegations on the budget guidelines on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Council approval of the budget guidelines is expected on Monday, June 29, 2020.