City of Kingston Operating and Capital Budget deliberations 2023-2024 begin

Tonight, Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, the 2023-2024 Operating and Capital Budget deliberations for the City of Kingston kick off, as the Committee of the Whole holds the first of at least two meetings, beginning at 6 p.m.

The second meeting will take place on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, also at 6 p.m.; an additional meeting time is reserved for the following evening, March 1, should a third meeting be necessary.

The proceedings will start with an overview presentation from Lanie Hurdle, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Kingston. The Committee of the Whole includes all members of Kingston City Council and those City staff members who oversee relevant operations and services, as well as arm’s-length organizations that receive funding through the City, such as Utilities Kingston and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev). In fact, both of those organizations will play a role in the first meeting, beginning with a presentation from David Fell, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Utilities Kingston, and Jim Miller, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Utilities Kingston. Those presentations will lead into the official budget deliberations.

Deliberations will begin with the 79-page report from Utilities Kingston, outlining the 2023-2024 Operating and Capital Budgets for municipally-owned utilities. The report outlines a number of recommendations for the two-year term with regard to wastewater, water supply, natural gas, and appliance rental operating budgets, as well as the two-year capital budgets for those utilities. In short, that report, which recommends the approval of the outlined budgets, includes:

Wastewater

  • A total operating budget of $20,238,000 for 2023, and $21,231,000 for 2024 (total: $41,469,000)
  • $14,010,000 transferred to the Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund for 2023, and 14,746,000 transferred to the same fund for 2024 (total: $28,755,000)
  • A total revenue of $40,426,000 for 2023, and $42,123,000 for 2024 (total: $82,549,000)

Water (supply)

  • A total operating budget of $15,001,000 for 2023, and $15,736,000 for 2024 (total: $30,737,000)
  • $17,366,000 transferred to the Water Capital Reserve Fund for 2023, and $18,102,000 transferred to the same fund for 2024 (total: $35,462,000)
  • A total revenue of $34,909,000 for 2023, and $36,379,000 for 2024 (total: $71,288,000)

Natural gas

  • A total operating budget of $5,116,000 for 2023, and $5,282,000 for 2024 (total: $10,398,000)
  • $4,278,000 transferred to the Gas Capital Reserve Fund for 2023, and $4,895,000 to the same fund for 2024 (total: $9,173,000)
  • $2,020,000 transferred to the City Municipal Capital Reserve Fund for 2023, and the same for 2024 (total: $4,040,000)
  • A total revenue of $36,587,000 for 2023, and $37,371,000 for 2024 (total: $71,958,000)

Appliance rental business

  • A total operating budget of $790,000 for 2023, and $824,000 for 2024 (total: $1,614,000)
  • $1,373,000 transferred to the Appliance Rental Capital Reserve Fund for 2023, and $1,442,000 to the same fund for 2024 (total: $2,815,000)
  • $915,000 transferred to the Municipal Capital Reserve Fund for 2023, and $962,000 to the same fund for 2024 (total: $1,877,000)
  • $458,000 transferred to the City Environmental Reserve Fund for 2023, and $481,000 to the same fund for 2024 (total: $939,000)
  • A total revenue of $3,536,000 for 2023, and $3,709,000 for 2024 (total: $7,245,000)

The report also recommends that Council approve the following two-year municipal utility capital budgets:

Wastewater: $38,578,750

Water: $42,565,250

Natural gas: $14,826,100

Appliance rental: $3,200,000

For a total of $99,170,100 across two years.

The report further recommends Council approve funding the same amount — $99,170,100 — for the two-year municipal utility capital budgets as follows:

  • Wastewater Reserve Fund: $35,098,750
  • Development charges reserve fund (wastewater): $3,480,000
  • Water Reserve Fund: $34,415,250
  • Development charges reserve fund (water): $8,150,000
  • Natural Gas Reserve Fund: $11,326,100
  • Natural Gas debt: $3,500,000
  • Appliance Rental Reserve Fund: $3,200,000

In terms of rate changes for municipal utilities, Utilities Kingston is recommending an increase of 3 per cent on water for 2023, and 3.5 per cent on water for 2024. The company is recommending the same increases in wastewater rates for 2023 and 2024 respectively. This translates to an increase of $25 for residential water and wastewater in 2023, and of $42 for the same in 2024.

For the local distribution rate for natural gas, Utilities Kingston is recommending the residential monthly service charge increase by $0.65 for 2023, and the commercial monthly service charge increase by $2.20 the same year. Those rates will once again increase, if approved, by $0.67 (residential) in 2024, and $2.16 (commercial) in 2024.

Utilities Kingston is also recommending a number of miscellaneous and appliance rental rate changes, all of which are outlined in a separate report from David Fell.

After wrapping up the municipal utilities aspect of the budget deliberations, the Committee of the Whole will receive presentations from the following external agencies:

  • Kingston Economic Development Corporation
  • Tourism Kingston
  • Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health
  • Kingston Access Services
  • Kingston Frontenac Public Library
  • Kingston Police Services Board
  • Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA)

Council has previously received annual operating plans from each of those organizations; the Committee will deliberate the municipal contributions to those operating budgets.

As always, the public meetings can be viewed (live or afterward) on the Kingston City Council YouTube channel, and all agendas and accompanying documents can be read on the City of Kingston website.

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