2012 City Budget – Sum Up
Toronto City Council wrapped up the 2012 City operating and capital budgets on Tuesday, January 17. Here’s my final count of what was saved and a note on what was lost.
What Was Saved
A total of $32.7079 million in services saved.
$2.8 Million in Services Saved at Budget Committee on January 9:
• 58 student nutrition programs ($0.4 million)
• Programs in 12 TDSB shared-use community centres ($2.1 million)
• Programs in 2 TDSB school pools ($0.3 million)
All funds to maintain these services are drawn from a pool of $8.8 million in unanticipated assessment growth.
$5.9119 Million in Services Saved at Executive Committee on January 12:
• Hardship Fund (see below re dollars)
• Arts community grant funding from the Community Partnership Investment Program (CPIP)($1.9 million)
• Toronto Public Library cut reduced ($3.084 million)
• Local sidewalk snow clearing ($0.9279 million)
Hardship Fund: If Province doesn’t pick up the cost from July 1 onward, the funds will come from the Toronto Employment and Social Service net budget to pay for the program.
Funds to maintain all other services are drawn from a pool of $8.8 million in unanticipated assessment growth.
$5 Million in Services Saved at Toronto Transit Commission on December 14:
• Some transit route service during peak periods ($5 million)
Funds to maintain these routes are from diesel fund savings in TTC operating budget.
$18.996 Million in Services Saved at Toronto City Council on January 17:
• School-based child care rent subsidy ($1.7173 million)
• Child care programming ($0.67 million)
• Free children and youth registered programs at the City’s 20 Priority Centres ($1.3 million)
• Ice rink time in 10 arenas ($0.26 million)
• Programs in 5 school pools ($0.6835 million)
• Social service and public health grant funding from the Community Partnership Investment Program (CPIP)($2.2953 million)
• Transit route service ($5 million)
• Three homeless shelters ($1.9719 million)
• Mechanical leaf collection services ($0.51 million)
• Health funding to Immigrant Women’s Health Centre ($0.05 million from City; results in an additional savings of $0.15 million from Provincial funding)
• Toronto Environment Office staff to implement climate change action plan ($0.323 million)
• Toronto Public Library cut reduced ($3.89 million)
• Live Green Toronto Community Animators’ program ($0.325 million; half of funding provided in 2011)
Funds to maintain these services are from the 2011 surplus except for Immigrant Women’s Health Centre (from $8.8 million in unanticipated assessment growth), Toronto Environment Office (from reserve funds), Toronto Public Library (from Tax Stabilization Fund), Live Green Toronto Community Animators’ program (from Infrastructure Partnership Reserve).
What Was Lost
The list of what was lost is a more time-consuming process to assemble. Some reductions in the budget are described as “service efficiencies” and others as “minor service impacts” or “major service impacts”. Of course, these terms can be highly debatable. Sometimes a reduction in an individual budget is due to the completion of a temporary project that no longer requires operating dollars. Wading through City documents to document what was lost is going to take a bit of time.
In the meantime, here is the short list from the Toronto Star:
• “Lay off more than 1,000 workers as a result of various cuts.
• Defer hiring of 236 police officers and 117 civilian staffers ($14.636 million)
• Defer hiring of 68 firefighters ($7.22 million)
• Defer hiring of 36 paramedics ($1.1 million)
• Close five of 106 wading pools and two of 59 outdoor pools. ($157,000)
• End Wintercity outdoor programming ($46,000)
• Reduce road cleaning (streetsweeping); local streets will see sweeping reduced to bi-monthly from monthly ($4.24 million)
• Close visitor cafeterias in long-term care homes. ($304,000)
• Reducing funding for community animators in the Toronto Environment Office. ($643,000)
• Consolidate maintenance of new trees and street trees. ($278,000)
• Stop city management of the Christmas Bureau, set up in 1956 to distribute gifts to needy children. ($151,400)
• Cut back on horticultural services: end rejuvenation of rundown flower beds, and cut back on flower and shrub planting. ($600,000)
• Eliminate four free garbage tags provided to each house for overflow garbage. Instead, residents can purchase tags at $3.10 each. ($1.29 million)”