Budget proposal has $1.8 million for Centennial Park work

HUMBOLDT — Humboldt’s proposed 2020 budget is suggesting that council approve spending $1.8 million to complete work at Centennial Park.

The proposed budget, which will be discussed by council at a special meeting on Dec. 9, will have more than $16.5 million in revenues. There would be $13.0 million going towards operating expenses, and $3.5 million going towards principal payments and to reserves to be used for capital spending.

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Total tax levies would increase by $168,000, which would require a total tax levy increase of around 2.5 per cent. If council decides to cut or increase spending, the tax increase would be adjusted accordingly. Last year’s increase was two per cent.

“Administration is proud that the 2020 budget keeps the city headed in the right direction for responsible maintenance and replacement of its assets and does so with a recommended tax increase that is competitive with the other cities in the province,” wrote Joe Day, Humboldt’s administrator, in a letter at the beginning of the proposed budget.

The budget plan would see a reduction in the city’s debt by over $485,000 from $3.8 million at the beginning of 2020 to $3.4 million by the end. There are no plans to acquire any more external loans in 2020.

The $1.8 million expenditure at Centennial Park would see the completion of six ball diamonds, an improved main entrance drop off area and paved main parking lot that would include an alternative access to parking lot off the 17th Street entrance, paved access off of Highway 5 to Centennial Park, and paving of the roadway located by the south arena/curling rink entrance and improvements to the south parking lot.

“Completion of the work at Centennial Park is a large project that the community has been patiently anticipating for a number of years,” Day said in a media release. “Administration believes we have developed a strategy that can get much of this work completed in 2020.”

The proposed budget would spend $903,000 on paving, with the focus on completing projects on Sixth Avenue, Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street.

Almost $1.2 million would go towards replacing water mains and components at two lift stations.

$170,000 will be used to replace three vehicles in the city’s fleet.

City staff recommended deferring eight capital projects until a later date. Those projects included $420,000 for additional upgrades to Seventh Street, $300,000 towards the outdoor rink and tennis courts, $150,000 for City Hall window upgrades, and $80,000 to upgrade the washrooms in the convention centre.

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