NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today approved its $1.7 billion 2004 Business Plan and Budget that includes service enhancements for York Regional Police, York Region Transit, significant capital infrastructure for Regional roads, water and wastewater, health care and social services.
“This budget translates into more services for residents, including new police officers, new routes for York Region Transit, more long-term care beds and the building of new roads,” said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO. “Council and staff have done a remarkable job in putting together a budget that ensures savings and enhancements for our residents.”
The 2004 budget has been re-worked considerably since January, with the changes resulting in savings to York Region taxpayers. The proposed 2004 Regional tax impact has been reduced from 8 per cent to 6.3 per cent – representing a savings of 1.7 per cent equivalent to $8.2 million.
The increase can be separated into three categories:
- 0.9 per cent increase to directly controlled Regional programs, such as transit, roads, solid waste management, public health, long-term care, social services and Emergency Medical Services.
- 0.4 per cent increase to indirectly controlled special purpose bodies, including GTA Pooling, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), Court Services and Conservation Authorities.
- 5 per cent increase to York Regional Police Services to hire 110 new officers and 35 civilians for a total staff compliment of 1,095 police officers and 335 civilian support staff.
“York Region remains a fast growing region, and I am pleased that this budget will continue to invest in services and infrastructure to help keep pace with growth,” said Town of Markham Mayor Don Cousens, Finance and Administration Committee Chair. “This budget ensures the continuation of the high quality of life the residents of York Region enjoy and expect.”
Based on an average assessed residential property of $332,205, the 2004 budget will result in an average household tax increase of $91, a savings of $25 since the January budget submission to York Regional Council.
“Staff has done an enormous job finding efficiencies within Regional departments” said Michael Garrett, York Region’s Chief Administrative Officer. “Staff has managed to find millions in savings through program adjustments. Our work to find efficiencies and measuring our performance will continue.”
Other highlights of the 2004 budget include:
- York Regional Police
- Deploy 1,095 Police Officers and 335 Civilian staff to focus on:
- Police visibility
- Traffic enforcement
- Community Policing
- Criminal activity investigation
- Response time for emergency calls
- Directly controlled programs
- $178.3 million for Regional roads – construction, operation and maintenance
- $169.2 million for Social Assistance, Family and Children’s Services and Housing Services
- $103.4 million for Health Services – public health, EMS and long-term care
- $88.8 million for York Region Transit
- $82.1 million for the York Rapid Transit Plan Quick Start program
- Special Purpose Bodies:
- $79.5 million in GTA Pooling costs
- $11.1 million in MPAC costs
- $7.3 million in continued hospital capital funding
- $5.9 million in funding to Conservation Authorities
- $2.7 million in funding to GO Transit
Please link here to review a series of 2004 Business Plan and Budget-related releases and Fact Sheets, plus a presentation to York Regional Council, or view the materials on our Web site under the News section.
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca
The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities. York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville. For more information, visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca
Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region