Hamilton’s General Issues Committee has scheduled three back-to-back budget meetings next week. Wednesday they will consider budget proposals from the Boards and agencies that receive funding from the City. The two largest of these are the police Service and the Library. The Police Service is looking for a nearly seven percent increase and that will take up the majority of the debate time.
Some of the other boards and agencies seeking funding include.
- Royal Botanical Gardens who are sticking to the city request to limiting increases to two percent. They are looking for a $660,000 contribution from the city as the agency continues to generate more than 75 percent of its revenue from admissions and services.
- Hamilton Conservation Authority is also adhering to the two precent increase in it’s ask of $4.7 million. HCA is now showing a profit of $1.3 million on its conservation areas with the growing popularity of the many waterfalls in the system
- The Niagara Region Conservation Authority gets 19 percent of its municipal funding from Hamilton by virtue of the headwaters of the Welland River being in Binbrook. NRCA is looking for a more than 8 percent increase. From Hamilton that would mean an increase of $128,000 for a total of $1.850 million. The dollar amount is not significant, but Hamilton and NRCA have a history of disagreements over funding and governance, and there could be some pushback on this request in view of the city’s two percent ceiling.
- The Hamilton Public Library is looking for a 3.5 percent increase, or $1.1 Million on an overall budget of $33.8 million. The library attributes the increase almost entirely to salary, cost-of-living and benefits increases. The library has stayed within the city’s budget ceiling four out of the last six years.