Dozens of organizations address city council in budget talks
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 6:54PM MST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 7:06PM MST
Ahead of talks on the city’s budget for 2013, Edmonton’s city council hosted a public hearing for organizations to ask the city for money – while councillors face the task of keeping the tax increase low.
On Monday, a number of organizations – ranging from transportation issues to the arts – were registered to speak.
One of those organizations is the Art Gallery of Alberta –Executive Director Catherine Crowston told CTV News it needs $750,000, or exhibits, programs and hours will be cut.
“Our successes are fantastic, we want to continue to do this,” Crowston said. “But our operating costs are more than we anticipated.”
In all, councillors heard from 36 different organizations – all while councillors are hoping to keep the next tax hike down.
The hike was originally projected at 5.5 percent.
The city said an unexpected amount of money from assessment, and the Indy, means that projection is now down to 4.7 percent, however, the mayor said city council needs to do better.
In turn, the mayor said other levels of government should help some of the organizations.
“I don’t think we should be funding everything, we pay taxes to the province, and the federal government, we should be entitled to get some of that back to help support the system,” Mandel said.
Another organization that addressed councillors Monday, Seniors Assisted Transportation, has asked for $400,000.
“We serve low to middle income elders who cannot afford a non-public funded program,” Anna Der with Seniors Assisted Transportation said.
After the public hearings, councillors will begin the process of going through each city department’s costs and services.
With files from Serena Mah