City of Kitchener plans for major investments in roads, parks

By Jonathan Strom

At a recent Kitchener Finance Corporate Services Committee meeting, Kitchener councillors and staff discussed the 2023 capital budget. 

“The majority of the budget focuses on infrastructure renewal such as full road reconstructions, roads, bridges, and sidewalks, we have water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure which are significant components,” said Jonathan Lautenbach, chief financial officer with the City of Kitchener. 

The city has plans for several major investments including over $98 million over 2023-2025 to be spent on an aquatics centre, and indoor turf field at Schlegel park. Another $37 million is for road reconstruction, while $15 million is for a downtown fire hall.

Lautenbach also explained there were many challenges when it came to putting together this year's budget.

“One of the things we have been facing … is escalation in cost in relation to inflation, and supply chain impacts in capital,” he said. “We have not been able to fully address that within the 10-year capital forecast.”

That is something that is expected to be addressed in future budgets. 

The effects that Bill 23 might have also were not addressed in the budget forecast. The city is waiting for more information before it takes it into account.

A property tax increase of 4.8 per cent as well as a $42 increase in water utilities for the average homeowner over the year are also a part of the budget proposal. 

The budget is set to be approved on February 2. 

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