MONTRÉAL, Nov. 26, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, and the Chairman of the Executive Committee, responsible for finance, Pierre Desrochers, today tabled the Ville de Montréal Operating Budget for 2015. This budget stands at $4,882,6 million, down $12.8 million compared to 2014. This represents a 0.3% reduction in city expenditures compared to the 2014 budget and is a first since the creation of the new city in 2002. The growth of tax charges under city council responsibility was limited to 2%. This results in a 2% increase, on average, in the general tax charges for non-residential properties and 1.8% for residential properties.
"The measures that were introduced last year to control expenditures were not accidental. The city's 2015 Budget continues along the same path, by giving us the resources to achieve our aspirations within a rigorous management framework that respects the ability of citizens to pay," said Mayor Denis Coderre.
"This year, by pursuing the sound management principles established in 2014, we are reducing expenditures, as well as continuing our work to restore city finances and are searching for ways to improve efficiency," said Pierre Desrochers.
A CITY THAT RESPECTS THE ABILITY OF CITIZENS TO PAY
The implementation of the Plan quinquennal de la main-d'oeuvre (five-year labour force plan), which calls for a reduction in the labour force, helped to control expenditures significantly by reducing the payroll, which represents approximately 50% of the city budget. The overall remuneration for 2015 stands at $2,405.5 million, or 49.2% of the overall budget of the city's operating expenditures. This is a $98.1-million decrease compared to the 2014 budget, or a 3.9% decrease.
AN INCREASINGLY EFFICIENT AND CONSISTENT CITY
Montréal will allocate $2.8 million to the Service de la performance organisationnelle (organizational performance department), up 28.7% compared to 2014. This department's mission is to examine the mechanics of municipal management, improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Bureau de l'Inspecteur général (inspector general's office)
The inspector general's office, the spearhead of the fight against collusion and corruption, will receive an 11% budget increase. The budget stands at $5.6 million in 2015.
Borough financing reform
In an effort to make the city more consistent, and to improve municipal services in the boroughs, the administration announced the introduction of the borough financing reform. This reform will be implemented progressively and result in a $3.7-million annual increase of borough budgets, or $18.6 million over five years.
A CITY WORKING FOR MONTREALERS
Priority to public transit
The city's contribution to public transit stands at $485.9 million, an increase of $30 million compared to 2014. The portion of the budget dedicated to the regular contribution to the Société de transport de Montréal stands at $409.1 million, up $25 million compared to the previous year. The Agence métropolitaine de transport will receive a contribution of $63.6 million, or $8.5 million more than in 2014, to cover the costs associated with the eastern commuter train.
Increased investment in infrastructure
In order to make up for delays in infrastructure repair, the administration implemented the Programme montréalais d'immobilisations (Montréal capital works program), which plans investment needs for the next ten years. To meet program guidelines, the 2015 Budget plans to increase temporarily debt financing by close to $1 billion over five years and also increase cash payment of capital expenditures by $40 million.
Road network and snow removal
A budget of $374.4 million has been earmarked for road network management, an increase of $10.4 million, or 2.8%, compared to 2014. Of this amount, $155.7 million will be allocated to snow removal. The budget for roads has been increased by more than $4 million, for a total of $136.4 million, including $4.2 million to repair potholes and cracks. A budget of $45 million has been allocated for work involving traffic and parking.
The overall budget for water management stands at $376.9 million. We are allocating $61.8 million for wastewater treatment, up 1.2% compared to the previous budget. A sum of $56.7 million will be allocated to drinking water supply and treatment, while $82.3 million will go for expenditures associated with the drinking water distribution network. We are staying the course with regards to maintenance, repair and optimization of secondary sewer networks and investing more than $50.3 million.
A sum of $13 million has been allocated to the Success@Montréal program, to promote economic development. This represents a $2-million increase compared to the previous budget.
A budget of $163.4 million has been earmarked for waste management (household waste and recyclables).
A budget of $12.7 million has been earmarked for environmental projects, up 2.6% compared to 2014. This will be used to combat air, water and noise pollution, as well as for treating contaminated soil. An investment of $6.4 million is planned for the urban forest. In addition to planting trees, the city will increase efforts to curb the emerald ash borer proliferation. This is a $5.1-million increase compared to the 2014 budget. A sum of $7 million is also included in the Three-Year Capital Works Program.
The Plan d'action montréalais en itinérance 2014-2017 (action plan to combat homelessness) was launched with a budget of $2.4 million in 2015. The city will also help to build social and community housing projects as part of the AccèsLogis program.
Montréal has earmarked $360.5 million for the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal (fire department), up $4.3 million compared to the 2014 budget, and a $686.6-million budget for the Service de police de Montréal (police department).
Cultural, recreational and sport activities
A sum of $505.7 million has been earmarked to support cultural, recreational and sports activities in Montréal. The city will invest an additional $72.6 million in the Space for Life recreational and tourist pole of attraction. The city has also earmarked $13.4 million for the Conseil des arts de Montréal (arts council) and $5.5 million for the Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History.
Montréal's 375th anniversary
The city's heritage projects, for which it has earmarked investments of more than $300.5 million, will serve as gifts for future generations. A $10-million contribution will be made to the Société des célébrations du 375e, for organizing the celebrations, a $9-million increase.
The 2015 Ville de Montréal Budget documents are available at www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/finances
SOURCE: Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif
For further information: Anne Roy, Press Attaché, Office of the Mayor and Executive Committee, 514 346-7598