$2.3B budget proposed for city next year

City Hall yesterday presented a proposed $2.3B budget for 2012.

In making the presentation at a press briefing at City Hall, City Treasurer Andrew Meredith said that revenue collection is expected to be to the tune of $1,993,363,000. He added that the City Council is expecting to receive a government subvention of $35M and it will also pursue initiatives to garner contributions in the region of $460M.

City property rates collection, he said, is expected to bring in $1,592,000,223 while the Administrative Department is expected to earn an estimated $3M and the Constabulary is expected to rake in $3.1M.

He added that the Public Health Department is expected to contribute $52M and solid waste and solid waste management are expected to bring in $10M. The P & A Department, he further said, is expected to contribute $67M and the Marketing Department, which he added has been stable and reliable, has a target of $220M.

Meanwhile, in terms of expenditure, the City Engineer’s Department is expected to utilise most of the resources, with an estimated $795M to maintain stability and also improve drainage, roads, sluices, kokers and main canals.

The second major area to which funds have been allocated is to the administration of the Council, which is expected to utilize $480M while the City Constabulary will use $278M. Solid waste management will utilize $367M, the Marketing Department is expected to utilize $245M and the Finance department is expected to make use of $138M.

“These appropriations or expenditures that have been planned must be seen in the context of our ability or our achievement of collection for the upcoming year and so, proportionately, as we collect revenue we are expected to and will be expending those resources to the budget,” Meredith explained.

Meredith stated that increases in residential taxes from 40% to 52% and an increase in commercial taxes from 250% to 320% have been proposed. Additionally, he indicated that the Council is interested in exploring different approaches to some of the activities they are involved in.

He pointed out the rehabilitation work that was done at the La Penitence Market, noting that more work is expected to be done on other markets.

Mayor Hamilton Green, meanwhile, noted that the budget has not yet been officially approved by the Council or the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Develop-ment. He opined that the presentation painted a very grim picture for the capital city, while adding that over the years options of broadening the Council’s revenue base have been explored so as to allow a little more flexibility in terms of its management.

Green also touched on the new landfill at Haags Bosch, East Bank indicating that with a closing time of 5pm, collectors dump garbage “all over the place,” resulting in the Council getting the “bad name.” Some days, Green also said, photocopying operations and water cannot be afforded by the Council.

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