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Regina city council discusses proposed changes to the budget
Katherine Hill & Karyn Mulcahy, CTV Regina
Published Monday, April 10, 2017 4:51PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, April 11, 2017 6:33PM CST
Regina city council held a special meeting on Monday night to hear people's thoughts on their updated proposed 2017 budget, and they got an earful.
Organizations facing funding cuts say City Hall didn’t warn them changes were coming. They spent Monday night fighting for every dollar.
“Is it fair? Probably not,” said Michael Fougere, Mayor of Regina. “But I am not sure what else we could do. We have to get our tax notices out very quickly – before the end of the month. There is not a lot of time for any discussion with anyone.”
Among the many changes being proposed, the largest property tax increase in over a decade, a tax increase for the Regina international airport, reduced transit service, a cut of over half a million dollars to the city's police budget and closure of the city’s only lawn bowling green.
“Closing the facility leaves no option for Regina lawn bowlers to continue to participate in their sport,” said Doug Normand from Regina Lawn Bowling Club.
The club is scheduled to host four provincial championships in 2017.
Regina Airport officials are also concerned about the proposed tax increases.
“The price of an airplane ticket could increase, quite likely,” said Richmond Graham, President and CEO of the Regina Airport Authority.
Council says the tax hike might not impact the airport as much as it claimed.
“I don’t think it’s a straight line from the exemption going away to ticket prices going up,” Fougere said. “I think it’s more complicated than that.”
But despite meeting for well over three hours, in the end council did not make any decisions. Instead, a vote on the budget was postponed until next week to give city councilors more time to consider their options.
CTV's Dale Hunter was live from the council meeting: